Paris: Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) began disciplinary procedures on Saturday against Croatia and Turkey following flare-throwing incidents at Euro 2016 matches. Croatian fans hurled flares on to the pitch in Saint Etienne in the 86th minute of the 2-2 draw with Czech Republic on Friday, while Turkish fans let off flares after their 3-0 defeat by Spain in Nice.
Croatia’s Marcelo Brozovic reacts to fireworks being thrown on the pitch during their Euro 2016 Group D match against Czech Republic at Saint-Etienne, France. Pic/Getty Images
UEFA said Croatia was accused of crowd disturbances, racist behaviour, setting off fireworks and throwing objects. Croatian coach Ante Cacic called the country’s fans “sports terrorists” after the incidents which caused a four-minute halt to the match. UEFA has accused Turkey of a pitch invasion, throwing objects and setting off fireworks.
Headlines for the wrong reason
At least 10 flares were lobbed from the Croatian corner of the Saint-Etienne Stadium in the 86th minute of Croatia’s 2-2 draw with Czech Republic on Friday. “Ashamed Croatia!” read the front-page headline of the largest circulation Vecernji list daily.
Turkey supporters wave the national flag and a flare during the match against Spain in Nice on Friday. Pic/AFP
It was accompanied with a large photo of Croatian players covered with smoking flares appealing for calm from fans. Croatia were leading 2-1 when referee Mark Clattenburg briefly halted play to allow the flares to be cleared. — AFP