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UEFA opens disciplinary proceedings against Croatia following crowd trouble

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) is facing sanctions from UEFA after the country’s fans were involved in ugly scenes during Friday’s draw with Czech Republic at Euro 2016.

Ante Cacic’s men were leading 2-1 in the closing stages of the Group D meeting in Saint-Etienne when a number of flares were thrown onto the field from the Croatia end.

Referee Mark Clattenburg was forced to pause the game and, while Croatia’s players sought to calm their fans, there were ugly scenes in the stands as some supporters scuffled with each other.

As a result, UEFA has charged HNS with four offences – setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects, crowd disturbance and racist behaviour. The case will be dealt with on June 20, a day prior to Croatia’s final group meeting with Spain in Bordeaux.

One member of the stadium staff sent to clear the flares was almost struck as one of the pyrotechnics exploded next to him, while fighting continued in the stands once play resumed, before Czech Republic rescued a 2-2 draw with Tomas Necid’s stoppage-time penalty.

The incident is the latest to put security measures under the spotlight at the tournament, with Russia handed a suspended disqualification following trouble in the stands in their Group B opener against England in Marseille – which was preceded by a series of flares being let off.

UEFA also confirmed this week that it would investigate Portugal fans after a firecracker was apparently lit among their supporters during the 1-1 draw with Iceland, also in Saint-Etienne, on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, UEFA also brought three charges against Turkey – namely setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects and field invasion, following their 3-0 defeat to double defending champions Spain in Nice.

Sat 18 Jun, 2016
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