Croatia coach Kovac apologizes for fan behavior after 16 arrested, match halted in Italy


Croatia should be hailing its national teamers after the visiting Blazers dominated Italy at the San Siro, just failing to come up with the winner in a 1-1 match.

But instead head coach Niko Kovac is apologizing for road supporters.

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The match was halted twice, once for 10 minutes, as fans tossed fireworks onto the field and a fire appeared in the stands. Sixteen fans were arrested for the disturbances.

From Sky Sports:

“I apologise to everyone, especially the Italians, for our supporters’ behaviour. I was disappointed and helpless, there are no right words for this. If someone has a problem, he has to deal with it outside the stadium.
“This is not the real image of Croatia, Croatians are honest people that respect other nations, while this kind of behaviour leads nowhere. Of course, Croatia will face sanctions, but I think there is no reason for any point deductions.”

The arrests punish the offending parties, and point deductions should always be the last resort considering how many fans, players and coaches are affected. Kovac was visible trying to get the fans to calm down, obviously to no avail in unfortunate scenes in Italy.