Embassy Representatives Visit Croatian Football Fans in Serbian Jail

By 9 August 2018

ZAGREB, August 9, 2018 - Officials of the Croatian Embassy in Serbia on Wednesday visited 13 Croatian citizens, supporters of the Hajduk Split football team, who were arrested for rampaging at a gas station outside of Belgrade, in a Belgrade district prison, the Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Ministry said in a press release.

According to the press statement, the arrested men informed the embassy officials that they were fine. None of them requested consular assistance or asked the embassy to contact members of their families.

They are expected to be brought before judicial bodies on Wednesday and Thursday, the ministry said.

On Thursday, the embassy officials are expected to visit another 14 football supporters from Croatia who have been placed in detention in Padinska Skela.

The Croatian ministry will, in accordance with international regulations, continue to closely monitor the situation and provide consular assistance to all detained Croatian citizens who decide to request it. They will also be available for communication with their families.

Fourteen fans of the Hajduk football club from the southern Croatian coastal city of Split have each been sentenced to 15 days in prison and banned from entering Serbia for a year. Another 13 fans who were brought before the court have been acquitted, but will remain in police custody.

The fans stole about 200,000 dinars (1,680 euro) worth of goods from a petrol station in Belgrade's Vrčin suburb on Thursday while they were travelling to Sofia for a game against local side Slavia. One of them was suspected of spraying graffiti with symbols of the Ustasha regime that ruled Croatia during World War II. They were arrested on Friday on their way back from Bulgaria.