The Sunday Mail
Croatia star Ivan Rakitic fears his country could be sent home from Euro 2016 following the disgraceful behaviour of their fans during a 2-2 draw against Czech Republic in St Etienne Friday night. Croatian hooligans forced the Group D match to be temporarily halted as they threw flares on the field and then fought each other in the stands at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard where England play Slovakia tomorrow.
Uefa have already begun an investigation into the incident and Croatia have been punished before for similar incidents in Milan and Split.
Now Barcelona star Rakitic fears the worst as his team prepare for their final group game against Spain.
He said: ‘We have to see if we will play against Spain, maybe they will send us home after this. There are a lot more fans that love the national team and they will not be able to see Croatia play. We were lucky that the match went on, the referee wanted to end it immediately.”
Croatia manager Ante Cacic slammed those among his team’s followers who disrupted the game, calling them “sports terrorists”.
“This is maybe just a question about six to 10 individuals. I hope they can be identified and punished,’ Cacic said. I hope the Croatia FA is doing everything to prevent this but it is impossible to avoid. These people are really scary, that is why I call them hooligans.
“These are not really Croatian supporters. These are sports terrorists. The main thing our country doesn’t want to mess with this kind of hooligans.
“Probably 90 percent of Croatia supporters are ashamed in front of whole of Europe. Our players are really sad. They are so proud to wear the Croatia shirt and we are very, very sad after playing a beautiful match.”
Croatia were leading 2-1 against the Czech Republic when play was halted in the dying minutes following the trouble, before Tomas Necid completed a comeback with a dramatic equalising penalty four minutes into added time. – Daily Mail.