Croatia fined after England game abuse

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The Independent Online

The Croatian governing body has been fined £15,000 for the racist behaviour of fans during the World Cup qualifier against England earlier this month, Fifa announced yesterday.

"The Croatian Football Federation... received a warning regarding its future conduct. Further infringements would lead to more severe sanctions by the Fifa Disciplinary Committee," the world governing body said in a statement. The Football Association complained to Fifa after England players were racially abused by Croatia fans during their 4-1 victory in Zagreb on 10 September.

"Racism has no place in football," the statement continued. "Fifa is determined to continue broadcasting this message around the globe and deploying all of the means at its disposal to eliminate this form of discrimination."

The Croatian secretary-general Zorislav Srebric said: "We are not happy about it because any such fine means less money for soccer development in Croatia. However, we understand this as the most serious warning to stick firmly to all Fifa regulations." Croatia's football federation was fined nearly £10,000 for the racist behaviour of fans at the team's Euro 2008 quarter-final against Turkey in June.

The FA welcomed Fifa's decision: "We repeat our position that we will not accept any racial abuse of any England players. There can be no place for racist behaviour in football or society."

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