Croatia to appeal against fan ban for Italy qualifier
09 April 2015, 21:31
Zagreb - Croatia will appeal against UEFA's decision ordering them to play their Euro 2016 qualifier at home to Italy behind closed doors in June after crowd trouble last month, the national FA (HNS) president Davor Suker said on Thursday.
"We will appeal to UEFA. We're simply devastated by this decision. This is a huge (financial) loss for us, for our tourism, for promotion of Croatia," Suker said after a meeting of the HNS held outside the capital.
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"We have to find the culprits and punish them. We already have footage to identify them. We know what (UEFA's) next moves will be: deduction of points and a ban from major international tournaments," added Suker, Croatia's all time top scorer who was elected to UEFA's executive committee in March.
UEFA's disciplinary panel lost patience with Croatia after racist behaviour and the setting off and throwing of missiles and fireworks by their fans during the Group H match against Norway at Zagreb's Maksimir stadium on March 28.
"For us, the game with Norway was a step forward. Only six firecrackers went off, but it obviously wasn't enough," Suker said.
UEFA, which did not give any further details, also fined the Croatia federation 50,000 euros ($53,925).
The match was played in a partially closed stadium following trouble at Croatia's 1-1 draw with Italy in November. Croatia fans twice interrupted the match at Milan's San Siro stadium by throwing flares on to the pitch.