ZAGREB, June 14, 2015:
Croatia President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic called for a swift investigation and punishment for the people who imprinted a swastika on the pitch at the stadium where Croatia played Italy in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Friday.
“This act has inflicted immeasurable damage on the reputation of Croatian citizens and their homeland all over the world.
“Therefore, we must finally put a stop to such things,” she said in a statement released on Saturday.
“I condemn in the strongest possible terms the swastika on the pitch.
“I demand an urgent investigation and a decisive response from the relevant institutions to find and process the perpetrators,” Grabar-Kitarovic said.
The swastika incident left Croatia players and the country’s soccer ruling body, the HNS, fearing drastic punishment from the UEFA after the result left them top of Group H with 14 points from six games, two ahead of Italy and four clear of Norway.
“We have all been slapped in the face by hooligans and it was not an accident, it was a calculated move.
“The cameras will identify the perpetrators, but the shame will stay,” he said.