Football

Croatian Football Federation Apologises After Nazi Swastika Appears On Pitch

Croatian Football Federation Apologises After Nazi Swastika Appears On Pitch

The Croatian Football Federation has apologised after a swastika symbol appeared on the pitch ahead of their Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.

The game, which ended in a 1-1 draw, was played behind closed doors after Croatia were punished for racist chants by fans against Norway in March.

The swastika – widely recognised as the symbol of Nazi Germany – was seen during the first half and although ground staff at the stadium in Split tried to cover it up at half-time they were not successful.

It is unknown whether the symbol was mowed or painted into the grass, or who is responsible.

Tomislav Pacak, a Croatian Football Federation spokesman said: “This is sabotage and a felony.

“We expect police to identify the perpetrators.

“This is a disgrace not just for the HNS but for the whole of Croatia.

“As far as we have learned, the symbol was imprinted into the pitch between 24 and 48 hours before the match so that it could be visible during the game.

“We apologise to all fans watching the game on television, to both teams and to our guests from Italy for the Nazi symbol.”

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