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Civic Nation Unity in Deversity

Xenophobia in Sport

Xenophobia in Sport Croatian football fans.

Football xenophobia and sports related racism is prevalent in Croatia. Croatian fans on October 11th 2013 during the match of their team against the Belgium team used Nazi symbols, greetings and yelled out slogans of racist character from the tribunes.

On November 19th after the match between Croatia and Iceland, which ended with the victory for the Croats with a 2:0 score and ensured their participation in the World Cup, national team player Josip Simunic picked up the microphone and turned to the stands with the words “For Motherland!”, fans answered by shouting “Ready”. The same greeting was used by the pro-fascist Ustashe organization, which operated in Croatia from 1929 to 1945. The football player issued a statement after the match, claiming he had done nothing wrong and only wanted to support their country. To those who disagreed with him Shimunich advised to learn history As a result the FIFA committee on ethics disqualified him for 10 matches and the prosecutor's office of the Republic fined him for 25 thousand kuna ($ 4,400) for inciting ethnic hatred.

Overall, four Croatian football clubs were fined in 2013 on the basis of racism for the amount of 118 000 euros.

In 2014, six football clubs were fined approximately 20 500 euros due to xenophobic actions of their fans. FIFA fined the Croatian Football Association 80 000 euros for using banners with fascist symbols at the Croatia v. Italy game in Milan.

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