Croatia rejects UEFA hooliganism warning

Croatia has rejected a warning from UEFA that fan violence and

racism could lead to its teams being banned from international

competitions.

Croatia said 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.

UEFA President Michel Platini sent warning letters to the

Croatian and Serbian prime minister stating that both Balkan

countries are on ”yellow cards” because of their notorious

fans.

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 problem. Neighboring

Serbia has said it will do all it can to curb hooliganism at

stadiums.

Croatia’s ministers said in a statement that Platini’s missive

to the prime minister is diplomatically ”inappropriate,” adding

that the dangers at its stadiums are no worse than the rest of

Europe.

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

Zagreb, Croatia.