Croatia charged by UEFA with racist behavior and crowd disturbances

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UEFA has released that it is charging both Italy and Croatia after rowdy disturbances at the San Siro during a Euro 2016 qualifier over the weekend.

Most notably, it has charged Croatia not only with the inability to control its fans but also with racism, which often carries much heavier punishments, especially after the new, tougher sanctions passed.

Croatia was charged with racism last time these two teams played, before the upgraded punishments, getting off with a $101,000 fine. It was alleged fans were screaming monkey chants at Mario Balotelli during that fixture, at Euro 2012 in Poland.

This time around, the alleged racism has not been specified.

Per previous punishments for other countries or teams, this time Croatia could face punishments such as closing stands, playing behind closed doors, or the harshest punishment of docking points in the group stage. The $101,000 fine previously faced is one of the larger fines handed down by UEFA for racism, which could be cause for concern as repeat offenders.

The Italian federation was also charged with the inability to control its fans, given the country’s responsibility as host to properly search and control fan violence. There were multiple instances of fighting in the stands, especially concentrated in the Croatian away sections.

The teams will learn their punishments on December 11 after the scheduled hearing. They are level on points at the top of the table in their Euro 2016 qualification group, with Croatia ahead on goal differential.