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Croatia face disqualification in Euro 2016 following display of crazy croatian fans against Czech Republic.

Football became secondary after Croatia fans threw flares onto the pitch in the Group D game against Czech Republic.

They should be ashamed of themselves.

An entertaining game of football was ruined in one moment of madness. With Croatia seemingly on course for victory over Czech Republic at 2-1 up in Saint-Etienne, ‘fans’ threw flares onto the pitch in a planned protest against their country's football bosses Zdravko Mamic and Davor Suker.

In an instant, football became secondary.
This European Championship has already been marred by violence and hooliganism. Suddenly, stewards were on the pitch trying to remove flares and one worker only just escaped injury after an explosion right by him. A loud bang in the stands then followed. It was not what anyone wanted to see or hear in a football stadium this month - and it was no way to make a protest.

Yes, Croatian football is in a bad state, with corruption claims, accusations of bribery, evasion of taxes, irregularities in transfer deals, favouritism and much more. The planned protest will earn the FA a fine and that was the intention of those supporters who are fighting to save football in their country. But in doing so, they may have sabotaged their nation's hopes of success at Euro 2016 as well.
Worse than that, they put lives at risk.

Croatia's fans in Saint-Etienne have been colourful and fun over the past couple of days in Saint-Etienne, but they went too far here by a long way. How they managed to gain access to the stadium with so many flares is a question that needs to be answered as well. Security here in France has been tight. Not tight enough, evidently.

“They are hooligans," Croatia coach Ante Cacic blasted after the match. "They are not supporters. It’s totally clear that this is a group of hooligans. The same thing happened in Milan against Italy, we saw some Nazi signs on the pitch. Probably they have some support from I don’t know where. But 95 per cent of fans are ashamed in front of Europe.

"We knew there were threats about something like this has happened - these are not real Croatian supporters, they are sports terrorists. We have so much experience of this it hurts so much. But our country does not want to mess with these types of hooligans.

"Our players are really sad. They’re so proud to wear the shirt. They play for the Croatian people. We’re sad after playing a beautiful match. We were playing great football."

They were. Croatia had put on a midfield masterclass in the first hour of the game to go 2-0 up through Ivan Perisic and Ivan Rakitic, and even though the Czech Republic had pulled a goal back through Milan Skoda, they still looked like going on to win and sealing their spot in the last 16 of the competition. In the end, a late penalty meant the scores ended 2-2. The Croatia players were distracted by then, their minds no longer on the match.

And as Cacic said, those poor players were devastated. Captain Darijo Srna, who lost his father during Sunday's win over Turkey but flew back out to France to respect his dad's final wish, was in floods of tears during the national anthem and was left shaking his head in shame as flares were removed from the playing surface.

He deserved better. So do his team-mates and even though the fans responsible may feel this was the only way to make themselves heard, all it has served to do is put a black mark against them and their national side as well.

Now, those supporters may well have wrecked their team's hopes of success at this tournament and they may never be able to watch their national side in action again. But they should have thought of that before. Because violence is never the solution and the only blessing after this planned protest is that nobody was seriously hurt on yet another sad day for football.