Croatian Football Federation Fined for Split Stadium Swastika

By 9 March 2018

ZAGREB, March 9, 2018 - Croatian Football Federation (HNS) executive president Damir Vrbanović has been fined 5,000 kuna pending appeal as the responsible official and the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has been fined 50,000 kuna as the responsible legal person and organiser of a football match played between Italy and Croatia in Split in June 2015 over a swastika on the turf.

Split Misdemeanour Court judge Stipe Roso ruled that, under the Act on the Prevention of Rioting at Sporting Events, Vrbanović and the HNS are guilty of not having inspected the venue and the turf before the match while at the same time acquitting them of not having taken appropriate measures to prevent rioting and violence.

The reason for the sentencing ruling is the failure by the HNS and Vrbanović to inspect the venue and spot the swastika, which was noticed on the turf only during the first half.

The incident prompted UEFA to fine the HNS 100,000 euro, impose a point deduction for 2014–16 European Football Championship qualifiers and order the HNS to play two home matches behind closed doors.

The police are still looking for the perpetrator or perpetrators of the incident and even though they had footage partly showing a person jumping over the stadium fence, the perpetrators remain unknown.

Under the Act on the Prevention of Rioting at Sporting Events, an offence like this one carries a fine of between 5,000 and 50,000 kuna for responsible officials and of 50,000 to 250,000 kuna for legal persons.