Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

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.

In 2016, the local "ultras" disrupted the friendly match between Israel and Croatia. During the game in the city of Osijek, football hooligans began to chant "Ready for the Motherland!" (the motto of the Ustaše), as well as “We are Croats! Ustasha! Tired! Croatian Prime Minister Tihomir Oreskovic and Education and Sports Minister Predrag Sustar, who were present at the match, chose to remain silent and remained in their places. Later, the press service of the Prime Minister issued a short release condemning the use of symbols and slogans of totalitarian regimes, without mentioning the details and specifics of the event.

February 9, 2019, an incident occurred in Split. A group of hooligans attacked the Red Star water polo players from Serbia and Montenegro. The suspects demanded from one athlete to give them clothes with club tags. At the same time, they insulted those gathered along ethnic lines. Two players managed to escape, while the third was pursued by a group of hooligans. The hooligans were armed with clubs and knives, but the man managed to escape by jumping into the sea.

April 29, 2019, during a football match at the Maksimir Stadium in the capital, Dinamo club fans in Zagreb chanted nationalist slogans and sang songs in support of the Nazi Independent State of Croatia. It is noteworthy that the game was not stopped, no sanctions were followed by law enforcement agencies. In February 2019, during a football match in Poljuda, fans stretched out a banner with the pro-Ustash inscription “Max’s Butchers” (Vekoslav “Max” Luburić headed the NGH concentration camp network, including the Jasenovac concentration camp).

9 июня 2019 года пятеро мужчин, членов фан-клуба «Хайдук» «Торсида», напали на четырех сезонных рабочих в Супетаре на Браче. Двое рабочих были сербами из Хорватии, которых нападавшие узнали по их диалекту.

In June 2019, the Croatian children's football team chanted "Ready for the Motherland" as they prepared to face their Serbian peers in a tournament for boys aged 10 to 13. While the Croatian and Serbian kids got along well after the game, the idea of ​​using fascist slogans to galvanize the players is deeply disturbing.

On June 11, 2020, more than 10 fans of the Dinamo (Zagreb) football club stretched out a banner calling for the rape of Serbian women and children and chanted the slogan “Kill the Serb”, while Nazi and Ustashe symbols were seen on their clothes and flags. After the match, a group of young men, members of the ultras football group Bad Blue Boys (BBB), gathered on a street in Zagreb waving a banner "We will fuck Serbian women and children" and chanting "Kill, kill." The banner featured the insignia of the World War II fascist Ustaše movement, as well as the flags of the 1990s Croatian paramilitary Croatian Defense Forces (HOS), which featured some Ustaše symbols. As is common among far-right groups, Serbs are often targeted, considered "Others" in the context of the 1990s war in Croatia. Croatian extremists often use the language of historical denial regarding the Ustaše's policy of genocide against Serbs. Croatian football ultras, which unite teenagers and youth, are incubators of far-right and neo-Nazi extremism.

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