June 12, 2015
The pitch in Split, Croatia, appeared to show the pattern of a swastika during Friday's Euro 2016 qualifier.
SPLIT, Croatia -- Croatia could face punishment by UEFA after a swastika pattern could be seen on the pitch for its
The Nazi symbol was clearly marked in the middle of the half Italy was attacking in the first period of Friday's 1-1 draw.
Ground staff attempted to cover the symbol up during the half-time interval but were unable to do so and the Croatian Football Federation expressed its regret over the incident and
"We apologise to all viewers, our guests from Italy and the players from both teams, for the Nazi symbol on the Poljud Stadium grass," Croatian Football Federation press officer Tomislav Pacak said.
"Technically speaking, a chemical agent was used on the field 24 to 48 hours before the kick-off, timed to be visible during the qualifying match.
"During the half-time, we have tried to remedy the situation to the best of our abilities, given the
Pacak went on to reveal that UEFA had been notified about the incident and called on the police to bring those responsible to justice.
He added: "This was an obvious act of sabotage and a
"Once again, we express regret and condemn this act, and we apologise to all the viewers, guests and players from both teams."
The match was already being played behind closed doors as punishment for racist
"It's one of our problems and we are working to fix it,'' said Davor Suker, the president of the Croatian football association, of Friday's incident.
"Unfortunately something happened tonight too, but we would prefer not to talk about it now, we'll talk about it from tomorrow.''
In a friendly with Italy in Livorno in 2006, around 200 Croatia fans formed a human swastika in the stands, positioning themselves to depict the symbol commonly associated with
Information from the Associated Press and Press Association was used in this report.
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