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Platini livid over behavior of Croatia fans

  • AFP, Monday, June 18, 2012 2:45 PM

UEFA president Michel Platini did not hide his displeasure at the behavior of up to 500 Croatia fans who taunted Italy's Mario Balotelli during last week's Euro 2012 match, not least because he had warned the Croatian soccer federation about the problem of racist fans when he visited last year and UEFA has adopted a "zero tolerance" policy on the issue.

"They [Croatia] have a good team which plays well," Platini said, "but it's unacceptable when you've got a hundred or so ****s among the crowd. They [the Croatian federation] knew [that it could happen. Any form of racism is a problem. One case is too many."

The problem of racist chants directed at black players has hung over Euro 2012. Several teams have been warned or are under investigation for the behavior of their fans. A ruling on the Croatia case -- the first for racism at Euro 2012 -- is expected on Tuesday.

Croatia coach Slaven Bilic said that those fans who directed racist chants at Balotelli should be banned from watching soccer. "I don't like this kind of supporter, neither do my players. I don't even want them in the stadium," he said. "We are not a racist country. Everyone is welcome, which is why we are angry at these crazy supporters and we have to minimalize this. We have to sanction these supporters and we must do everything we can to try to stop this kind of supporter for ever."

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