Croatia fined for racist chanting

19 June 2012 04:48

Croatia have been fined 80,000 euros (£64,561) after their fans were found guilty of racially abusing Mario Balotelli during their European Championship Group B game against Italy at the Municipal Stadium in Poznan.

The punishment, which was also dished out for the setting off and throwing of fireworks, was the first for a racially-aggravated offence at a tournament. According to official observers, Italy striker Balotelli was subjected to monkey chants by between 300 and 500 Croatia fans during the 1-1 draw and there were also accusations of a banana being thrown onto the pitch.

UEFA said in a statement: "The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has been fined 80,000 euros for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters (racist chants, racist symbols) at the UEFA EURO 2012 Group C match against Italy in Poznan on Thursday 14 June."

The statement continued: "An appeal can be lodged against this decision within three days of the dispatch of the reasoned decision."

The fine was one of the biggest UEFA had ever handed out for a racism-related incident.

However, they have already been criticised for taking even more draconian action against Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner during Euro 2012 after he revealed a sponsored pair of underwear, something that earned him a one-match ban and 100,000-euro fine.

A second offence for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks at Euro 2012 was also likely to have accounted for a sizeable chunk of Croatia's fine.

The HNS had already been docked 25,000 euro (£20,169) for such incidents, and the invasion of the pitch by a supporter, during Sunday's win over Republic of Ireland.

They were also fined £14,920 by FIFA just under four years ago after then England striker Emile Heskey was subjected to monkey chants in a World Cup qualifier in Zagreb.

And they were given a small fine during Euro 2008 for racist abuse from their fans during their game against Turkey.

Source: PA