What is going on here? Turkey, Croatia charged for flare incidents

Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Not just weeks, nor months, but years: That’s how long we’ve been talking about security concerns for EURO 2016.

Despite so much planning, fans have managed to bring flares and — according to ESPN analyst and former USMNT goalkeeper Kasey Keller — even a flare gun into stadiums.

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The fear was visceral and visible when a steward was injured trying to pick up a flare that exploded inches from his outstretched hand. The match was suspended for several minutes, and the Czechs equalized in stoppage time.

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Gabriele Marcotti also reported on the ESPN broadcast that both Turkey and Croatia fans have been charged for throwing flares, and that Croatian fans actually want their federation penalized because of displeasure with how their program is run (Fans had been previously banned for fascist chants, and a player missed a World Cup as well).

These so-called fans want to see their team implode, and they were pleased when the Croatians allowed that equalizer. It’s a victory for their cause. These are people in the soccer world, not domestic or international terrorists (though, of course, in a sense they also are…).