Croatian Soccer Body Fined for Fans’ Racist Chanting, Fireworks

Croatian soccer’s governing body was fined 80,000 euros ($102,000) by the organizers of the European Championship because of racist behavior of supporters.

The Croatian Football Federation has three days to appeal the fine, UEFA, European soccer’s governing body, said today in a statement on its website. Croatian fans set off fireworks and used racists chants and symbols during the June 14 match against Italy.

The step comes after two monitors from UEFA-appointed Football Against Racism Europe filed a report stating as many as 500 supporters in the Croatian section subjected Italy’s Mario Balotelli, who is of Ghanaian descent, to monkey chants throughout the 1-1 game. A banana was also thrown onto the field.

UEFA earlier fined the Russian and German federations for misbehavior by supporters. It also fined the Croatian federation 25,000 euros June 15 for fans throwing fireworks and other objects, as well as a supporter running onto the field during a match against Ireland on June 10.

The fine is lower than that given to Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner, who has to pay 100,000 euros and will miss one match after showing an unofficial sponsor’s name on his underwear while celebrating a goal at the regional championship, which is being held in Poland and Greece.

The player will also miss a competitive match, which will include qualifying games for the 2014 World Cup, UEFA said yesterday.

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net

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