Croatia rejects UEFA hooliganism warning

Croatia has rejected a warning from European soccer’s ruling

body that fan violence and racism could lead to its teams being

banned from international competitions.

Croatia says the same problems are rife throughout Europe. Its

sports ministers and police said Monday that the governing body

should concentrate more on its own corruption and betting scandals

than criticizing the Balkan country.

Neighboring Serbia has also been warned by UEFA but says it will

do all it can to curb hooliganism at stadiums.

UEFA President Michel Platini has twice in two years warned

Serbian and Croatian political leaders that their national and club

teams face suspension if they don’t act to curb the problems.

Croatia and Serbia meet in a World Cup qualifier March 22 in

Zagreb, Croatia.