UEFA looks into reports banana thrown at Euro 2012
UEFA is looking into reports that a banana was thrown by Croatia
fans toward the pitch during a European Championship match against
UEFA said Friday it is seeking more information about the
incident, which reportedly happened Thursday in Poznan, Poland.
European football’s ruling body said it had not opened a
disciplinary case against the Croatia football association. Italian
officials had also not formally complained, UEFA said.
Both Italy matches at Euro 2012 have now been the subject of
alleged racist abuse by its opponent’s fans.
UEFA is currently investigating claims by a Spanish fans’ group
that some Spain followers made monkey chants at Italy forward Mario
Balotelli, who is black, during a Group C match last Sunday in
Balotelli started for Italy against Croatia, and was replaced in
the second half.
Ahead of the tournament, Balotelli said in an interview that he
would want to ”kill” anyone who threw a banana at him. He also
threatened to walk off the pitch if he was racially abused.
The Croatia FA was fined ?25,000 ($31,500) on Friday for its
fans’ behavior at an earlier match against Ireland.
UEFA said the sanction was imposed for ”the setting off and
throwing of fireworks and missiles, and a pitch invasion by a
A Croatia fan was tackled by stewards after trying to reach
coach Slaven Bilic following the 3-1 win last Sunday in Poznan,
After Croatia led 2-1, Ireland’s kickoff was delayed while smoke
from fireworks cleared at one end of the stadium packed with
Italy’s kickoff was also delayed by firework smoke on Thursday
after Croatia equalized in the 1-1 draw. A further UEFA charge is
Bilic said Friday it was ”unbelievable” to see so many fans in
”We were like the home side, it also lifted us and we’d like to
thank them for coming because we felt their presence,” Bilic said.
”Unfortunately, you will always find some individuals that cause
the problems with some fireworks or with some whistles.”
In a separate case Friday, the Italian FA lodged a complaint
with UEFA over Croatia fans whistling when Italy’s national anthem
was played before the match.
Associated Press writer Pan Pylas contributed to this report
from Warka, Poland.