PARIS: European football found itself facing a new crisis over Balkan football hooliganism after Croat supporters ran amok inParis.
French police reported that 103 Dinamo Zagreb fans were arrested after not only defying a French government ban by travelling into the city and causing trouble before the Champions League tie with Paris Saint-Germain. Dinamo lost the tie 4-0 in the Parc des Princes in the south-west ofParis.
The latest incident followed a warning last year from UEFA president Michel Platini to the Croat federation over the behaviour of its fans and the recent racist provocation by Serb supporters of England players and officials at a UEFA Under-21 tie.
A statement from theParispolice prefecture said: “This afternoon the police services have arrested a further 103 supportors of Dinamo Zagreb. They are detained for 24 hours for not observing the formal ministerial order.”
On Sunday the Interior Minister had issued a formal ban on Dinamo fans enteringParisfor fear of “serious incidents likely if supporters of the two clubs came into confrontation.”
The Ministry also warned about “the probable arrival inParisof between 150 and 200 violent supporters, the so-called Blue Boys, without match tickets.”
The order followed trouble during the match inZagrebon October 24 when more than 100 PSG supporters – suspected of wanting to provoke the Dinamo hooligans – had been turned back at the borders by the Croat security services.
Fighting inParison Monday night saw six PSG fans arrested as well as 19 Croats who included three reported as particularly violent by the Balkan country’s own security services.
Early on Tuesday around 80 Croat fans were arrested in aParishotel. Later a further 20 were held after fighting with PSG fans erupted close to the Place de la Bastille.
InZagrebon Tuesday the former president of the Croat federation, Vlatko Markovic, was ordered by the Supreme Court to issue a public apology for a statement that he would never permit homosexuals to play for the national team.
Markovic made his comments in 2010 in an interview with the magazine Vecernji List. He was fined E10,000 by UEFA for comments deemed to infringe the federation’s anti-discriminatory regulations.
A formerYugoslaviainternational, Markovic quit as federation president after Euro 2012 and was succeeded by former top-scoring striker Davor Suker.
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