Croatia swastika: Uefa open disciplinary action over symbol

Uefa say the case will be dealt with on 16 July, with the Croatian Football Federation blaming an act of "sabotage"

Uefa has begun disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation after a swastika symbol was marked on to the pitch before a Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy in Split.

European football's governing body said it was acting after incidents of "racist behaviour" at Friday's match.

The 1-1 draw was played behind closed doors, as punishment for Croatia fans' racist chants against Norway in March.

The Croatian Football Federation said the incident was an act of "sabotage".

Croatia's president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic called for a swift investigation and said it had caused "immeasurable damage" to the country's reputation.

Uefa said the case will be dealt with in a hearing on 16 July.

The swastika - widely recognised as the symbol of Nazi Germany - was seen during the first half of the match and although ground staff tried to cover it up at half-time, they were not successful.

The symbol is identified by officials
Ground staff at the stadium tried to cover up the symbol at half-time but were not successful

November's reverse fixture in Milan was stopped twice for crowd trouble, with riot police involved.

Croatia were then forced to close part of their stadium for a game against Norway in March as a punishment for their fans' behaviour at the San Siro.

But the supporters who did attend the Norway game caused more problems, leading to the Italy game being played in an empty stadium.

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