Unfortunately, the talk of hooliganism has hit the headlines just as much as the action on the pitch during this summer’s European Championships.
Russia and England fans clashed on just the second day of the tournament in ugly scenes before and after their 1-1 draw. While it was rival fans that were fighting then, it was supporters of the same country that were fighting last week.
With Croatia leading Czech Republic 2-1 with just minutes remaining, their fans threw dozens of flares onto the pitch before violence broke out in their own fanbase.
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If you thought that was bad though, it’s nothing compared to their plans for their final group fixture against Spain this evening.
According to Croatian website index.hr, the hooligans are planning a shocking attack on Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers after 30 minutes during tonight's match.
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The report includes screenshots of a supposed letter sent from the Croatian police to the French police to warn them of the attacks.
Letter from Croatian police
In case some of you can read Croatian, here is that letter:
Problem with Mamic
However, if, like us, you can’t read Croatian, the letter states there is a planned attacked on the referee after 30 minutes.
It’s believed that the hooligans are planning to get their nation expelled from international competitions due to their anger towards Zdravko Mamic, who runs Croatian football.
They feel that Mamic is corrupt and he has been accused of embezzlement.
Whatever their feelings towards Mamic, though, interrupting another game of football in an international tournament could see them in big trouble.
UEFA fined Croatia £77,000 after their crowd trouble against Czech Republic while the Croatia Football Federation has reportedly been banned from selling tickets to fans identified as hooligans.
However, when Croatia received that ban, all of the tickets for the Spain match had already been sold.
Journalist Andy Mitten spoke about the ugly scenes in the stands at Croatia’s previous match: "I was in a section full of Croatia fans. The team was playing really well, everything was good, the people around me were happy but then I noticed a big line of police and soldiers building up in front of the Croatia end,” he told BBC.
"It became clear they knew something was going to happen and it did happen. I saw fighting. It was horrible to watch. It went on for two or three minutes.”
On the pitch
On the pitch, Croatia are aiming to qualify for the last-16 and they know a draw will be enough to do so against an impressive Spanish side.
However, if Czech Republic fail to beat Turkey, Croatia will be guaranteed passage into the next round regardless of their result against Vicente del Bosque's side.
Let’s hope we’re talking about the exciting football on the pitch rather than any sort of violence come full-time.
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