Croatian Soccer Team Penalized Over Swastika Pitch Incident

UEFA deducts one point from team in their Euro 2016 qualifying group, imposes other penalties after Nazi symbol was painted on field before June match against Italy in Croatian city of Split.

The Associated Press
The Associated Press
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A large swastika is seen on a grass pitch at a European soccer championship qualification game between Croatia and Italy, in Split, Croatia, June 12, 2015.Credit: AP
The Associated Press
The Associated Press

UEFA has deducted one point from Croatia in their European Championship qualifying group after a swastika was painted on the field before the qualifying match against Italy.

Croatia must also play their next two home qualifiers in an empty stadium. Their next home fixture is against Bulgaria in October. UEFA also barred Croatia from playing qualifiers in Split, which hosted the 1-1 draw with Italy on 12 June.

The Croatian football federation must also pay a €100,000 fine.

Croatia will stay at the top of their six-team group even with the sanction. They now lead Italy by one point after six matches.

The swastika was clearly marked in the middle of the half Italy were attacking in the first half.