ZAGREB: More crowd chaos erupted in Croat footbvall as the ‘derby’ between visiting Hajduk Split and champions and league leaders Dinamo Zagreb was called off after the visitors refused to play because of a fan ban.
A Hajduk statement said: “The match will not be played and the club will release an official statement on Sunday. The players have left the stadium and will head back to Split.”
Some 50 of the 1,000 Hajduk travelling fans were reportedly blacklisted as troublemakers, prompting the other fans to sympathise with them and boycott the match. Hajduk’s players followed suit and the officials called off the match in the Maksimir Stadium after Dinamo’s players came out of their dressing room.
The scandal was the latest to rock Croatian football, with the country’s fans causing crowd trouble during last week’s Euro 2016 qualifier against Italy in Milan.
In that match, the Croatian fans twice held up play at the San Siro stadium after hurling dozens of flares on to the pitch, prompting the Croatian football association to condemn their behaviour and to urge the government to crush hooliganism.
Dinamo, who have won the last nine Croatian league titles, are top of the 10-team first division with 37 points from 15 games, four ahead of closest rivals Rijeka and 11 more than Hajduk.
In Germany fit-again Bastian Schweinsteiger stepped up as a 77th-minute substitute in Bayern Munich’s 4-0 win over Hoffenheim for his first appearance since Germany’s victory over Argentina in the World Cup Final in Brazil in July.
Mario Gotze, Robert Lewandowski, Arjen Robben and Sebastian Rode scored the goals – Rode’s being created by an assist from Schweinsteiger.
In Holland Ajax thrashed Heerenveen 4-1 after recovering from an early setback to turn the game around when the visitors were reduced to 10 men before halftime at the Amsterdam Arena.
Victory left the champions second on 29 points, one point behind league leaders PSV Eindhoven who can restore a four-point lead on Sunday when Phillip Cocu’s side visit FC Groningen.
Ajax’s goals came from Daley Sinkgraven (own goal), Anwar El Ghazi, Ricardo Kishna and Arkadiusz Milik (penalty).
In Italy Paul Pogba scored twice and Carlos Tevez was also on target as Serie A leaders Juventus romped to a 3-0 win at Lazio on Saturday.
Pogba, 21, broke the deadlock with a classy finish in the 24th minute when he collected Tevez’s chipped pass and slotted past Federico Marchetti from the edge of the area.
Tevez finished off a counter-attack to grab his ninth league goal of the season in the 55th minute. Pogba struck again just after the hour and champions Juve coasted home despite having Simone Padoin sent off with 19 minutes left.
Juventus have 31 points from 12 games while AS Roma stayed three points behind in second place with a 2-1 win at Atalanta on goals from Adem Ljajic and Radja Nainggolan.