Croatia hosted Italy in a Euro 2016 qualifier without fans in Zagreb’s Stadion Maksimir as punishment for racist behavior during a qualifier against Norway (Norway?) earlier this year. This should have meant that there was no chance of further incidents, but where there’s a repugnant will, there’s a way.
During the match, reporters noticed a large swastika clearly etched into the pitch. According to Eurosport, the Italian FA quickly filed a complaint with UEFA and after the match, Croatian FA president Davor Suker expressed his own disappointment.
From Football Italia:
“We have this problem, which is the fans do not respect the rules.”
Incredibly, reporters and the FIGC representatives spotted a Swastika etched into the turf. It was partially scrubbed out at half-time.
“We will talk about it tomorrow. Am I angry? Yes.”
The match ended in a 1-1 draw with Croatia captain Darijo Srna getting sent off in added time. I guess officials will have to include pre-match swastika checks into their routines now.