Croatia vs Spain: Croatian supporters 'plan attack on referee' during Euro 2016 Group D clash

21 Jun

Croatian fans are reportedly planning to cause further disturbances during their country’s Euro 2016 clash against Spain on Tuesday night, including an attack on the referee.

Supporters intend to attack match official Bjorn Kuipers in the 30th minute of the game, according to Croatia’s police chief, as part of protests against their own country’s football organisers.

“We have information that the same people that caused trouble in St. Etienne will try the same, and even try to attack the referee in 30th minute of the match,” said Nikola Kajkic, president of the Croatian Police Union.

“All info we received ahead of Czech match proved to be right and as this time, we passed all info to French police.”

Croatia’s 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic last Friday was momentarily suspended when supporters threw flares and fireworks onto the pitch. A steward collecting the missiles was almost injured when one exploded directly in front of him.

Croatia were subsequently fined €100,000 (£76,743) by Uefa, European football’s governing body, and prohibited the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) from selling tickets to fans identified as hooligans.

Many Croatian supporters believe the HNS to be influenced by a cabal linked to club side Dinamo Zagreb. The federation’s vice-president, Zdravko Mamic, has been charged with embezzling money from the club during his time there as chief executive.

Damir Vrbanovic, the federation’s executive director, has also been charged as an accomplice in the case. Fans accuse the pair of runnning the national team in their own interests and have protested the Dinamo contingent’s influence on several occasions.

Friday’s disturbances followed an incident last year when a supporter painted a swastika on the pitch before the Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy.

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