Croatia have been deducted one point after an apparent swastika was spotted on the pitch during their Euro 2016 qualifier with Italy.
The Group H fixture in Split, which finished 1-1, was overshadowed when a swastika shape could be seen on the turf during the first half.
Attempts from stadium staff to remove the symbol at half-time proved unsuccessful and the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) duly apologised, lamenting “obvious sabotage and a criminal act”.
UEFA subsequently opened an investigation – charging the HNS with a breach of article 14 of their regulations, relating to racist behaviour.
In addition to a one-point deduction, Croatia have also been ordered to play their next two home matches behind closed doors and not to play any of their remaining qualifiers at the Stadion Poljud in Split, while a €100,000 fine has also been imposed.
The match in which the offence occurred was also played behind closed doors following the alleged racist behaviour of Croatia fans at an earlier qualifier against Norway.
Croatia’s lead over Italy at the top of Group H will now be just a point as a result of UEFA’s verdict.
The HNS has three days to appeal against their punishment.
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