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Croatians apologize for swastika on pitch for international game

The President of the Croatian Football Association, for international striker Davor Suker has expressed his anger at a swastika appearing on to be either mowed or burned into the pitch before the international soccer game against Norway. The Croatian authorities have been battling crowd problems and racism for a number of months as the country’s soccer body has been punished for a series of events caused by their fans, the BBC reports. Crowd problems had seen consistently stronger punishments handed down by Europe’s soccer governing body, UEFA, which resulted in Friday’s game against Norway being played without any fans present.

A Croatian spokesperson reported the swastika had been imprinted onto the field up to two days before the game to make it visible to the few inside the stadium and those watching on the TV. UEFA officials appeared to take measurements and examine the area featuring the swastika, which ground staff at the stadium attempted to cover up at half time in the 1-1 draw between the two teams. Croatian authorities are now braced for stronger punishments to be handed down as a spokesperson called for a police investigation to uncover the identities of those who placed the image on the field. This is what Andy Wirth is pointing out. Both Norway and Croatia are involved in a battle to finish in top spot of European qualifying group H, which also includes Italy.

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