FIFA fines Croatia for anti-Serbia chants by fans

Updated 30 May 2013
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FIFA fines Croatia for anti-Serbia chants by fans

ZURICH: The Croatian Football Association was fined 50,000 Swiss francs ($51,500) Wednesday for offensive chants by fans at a World Cup qualifying match against Serbia in March.
Although FIFA imposed the fine, Croatia avoided a stadium closure, which football’s governing body has ordered for World Cup qualifiers in other discrimination cases this season.
The latest case involving Croatia fans follows criticism from UEFA President Michel Platini last June after a series of incidents at the European Championship, including racial abuse targeted at Italy forward Mario Balotelli.
FIFA acted on eyewitness reports from discrimination monitor Fare at the March 22 match in Zagreb between two former Yugoslavia republics which fought a war in the 1990s.
Fare identified “at least seven different nationalist songs seen in the context of the Balkans as likely to cause hatred and lead to discriminatory acts.”
“Croatian supporters in different ends of the stadium repeated in turns the sentence ‘In fight for homeland!’” reported Fare, a European network of fan groups.
Visiting fans were barred for security reasons from the match, which Croatia won 2-0.
The Croatian FA can appeal the sanction, which was applied this month as FIFA and UEFA prepare to introduce tougher sanctions for racism and discrimination.
On Friday in Mauritius, FIFA’s 209 member countries will consider approving formal measures at their annual meeting.
Croatia, which hosts Scotland at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb next week, avoided a closed-door order which FIFA imposed on Bulgaria and Hungary at matches in March following racist abuse incidents.
Tense relations between Croatia and Serbia meant it was previously decided that to tickets will be sold to away fans for the countries’ return match in Belgrade on Sept. 6.
Croatia leads a six-team qualifying group along with Belgium, nine points clear of third-place Serbia.


Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

Updated 25 June 2018
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Ramadel Falcao, Juan Cuadrado and Yerry Mina star as stylish Colombia break Polish hearts

  • The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament
  • The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal

KAZAN: Radamel Falcao, Yerry Mina and Juan Cuadrado scored as stylish Colombia boosted their World Cup last 16 hopes with a comprehensive 3-0 win over Poland on Sunday.
In a match destined to see the loser sent home after the group stages, Colombia overcame a nervous start against Adam Nawalka’s men to move up to third place in Group H, one point behind Japan and Senegal.
The disappointing Poland became the first European side eliminated from the tournament.
“I’m very sorry and very sad about the result, but tomorrow’s another day and we have to come to terms with things,” said Poland coach Adam Nawalka.
“Our players did their best until the end of the game. We lost to a very strong team and this is something we have to accept.
“I extend my congratulations to Colombia.”
The South Americans’ bid for a place in the last 16 will be determined by the results from their final game with Senegal, who drew 2-2 with Japan earlier in the day.
Colombia’s march to the quarter-finals in Brazil four years ago came thanks to James Rodriguez’s six-goal tally for Los Cafeteros.
And days after a troublesome calf injury restricted him to a half-hour cameo role as 10-man Colombia stumbled to a 2-1 defeat against Japan, the Bayern Munich midfielder was back to his best.
Starting alongside Juan Quintero and Cuadrado on the right, Colombia’s ultra-offensive starting line-up was a forewarning.
After riding a tense start that forced Mina and then Wilmar Barrios to react quickly to thwart early threats from Robert Lewandowski, Colombia eventually got into their stride.
Cuadrado was wasteful on several occasions when finding space deep on the right flank.
The Juventus winger’s trickery would eventually pay dividends, but it was Falcao — who has dreamed all his life of scoring a World Cup goal — who turned on the style, dancing through the Polish defense to win the corner that led to Colombia’s opener.
Rodriguez’s short corner eventually found Quintero, whose smart through ball back to Rodriguez gave him time and space to curl a perfect left-footed cross that Mina rose to header powerfully past Szczesny on 40 minutes.
Colombia resumed in positive fashion, Cuadrado holding up well to set up Falcao for a first-time drive that sailed over Szczesny’s crossbar.
A Colombia counter saw Falcao’s drive from the edge of the area deflected out for a corner.
Nawalka replaced Dawid Kownacki with the more experienced Kamil Grosicki and the switch almost paid dividends.
Only the bravery of goalkeeper David Ospina saved Colombia from conceding what looked like the equalizer when he rushed out to block from Lewandowski after the Bayern Munich striker did well to get a shot away from a long ball from midfield.
Poland threatened again, but when Lewandowski got his head to a cross into the area he was marked by both Mina and Davinson Sanchez.
Colombia, however, were not to be denied.
When right-back Sanitago Arias found Quintero, the midfielder sliced Poland’s defense apart with a low pass that found Falcao on the run before he beat Szczesny down low with the outside of his right boot.
Five minutes later, Rodriguez produced arguably the assist of the night, drawing several Polish players on the left flank before somehow finding Cuadrado on the run with a superb cross-field pass that the pacey winger tucked away.