EUROPEAN FOOTBALL’S GOVERNING body, UEFA, has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian FA following the allegedly racist behaviour of the national side’s supporters during Thursday’s Euro 2012 encounter with Italy in Poznán.
The organisation has acted promptly following accusations that Manchester City striker Mario Balotelli was subjected to a number of racially-motivated chants during the group stage encounter, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The 21-year-old, who stirred controversy prior to the tournament by suggesting he would immediately leave the field of play and “kill” perpetrators of racist abuse, was in uncharacteristically muted form during the tie and substituted early in the second half.
An official statement read:
“UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) for the setting-off and throwing of fireworks, and the improper conduct of supporters (racist chants, racist symbols) at the UEFA Euro 2012 Group C match against Italy in Poznan on Thursday. The UEFA Control and Disciplinary Body will deal with the case on 19 June.”
Italy face Giovanni Trappatoni’s Ireland in the final Group C game of the campaign, while Croatia are scheduled to face the reigning world and European champions, Spain.