Rakitic calls for fans to calm down
When Croatia meet Spain in their final Euro 2016 group match tonight there will be as much scrutiny of developments in the stands as on the pitch.
Friday’s 2-2 draw with the Czech Republic was halted with four minutes to play when supporters again threw flares and fought among themselves. As a result, the Croatian FA have been prohibited from selling tickets to ‘certain fans’ identified as ‘hooligans’ and handed a €100,000 fine.
After the teams returned to the pitch, Croatia’s players felt their concentration had been disturbed, which contributed to the Czechs scoring a late equaliser with a penalty.
“We lost our pace when play was suspended because of our supporters,” midfielder Ivan Rakitic said.
He added: “We know it’s going to be tough because we are aware of their individual and team quality.”