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We are hereby documenting the statement from the national umbrella of Croatian national team fans on events in Saint-Étienne at their match against Czech Republic on 17 June at EURO 2016 where Croatian supporters were seen fighting inside the stands, throwing pyro on the pitch, almost seriously injuring a steward with a banger that went off when he wanted to clear it off the pitch.

We believe it is extremely important to take their views and work into account for an appropriate assessment of events in Saint-Étienne and would hope that any UEFA sanction would award this proactive commitment against hooliganism from the side of fans accordingly. Find their statement below:

Statement of the Croatian Fans Association Uvijek Vjerni on hooligan attacks in Saint-Etienne

In the light of recent violent and racist incidents in Saint-Étienne, we are appalled and condemn them as Croatian fans. At the same time, there also are still quite a few open questions and remarks to make:

99% of all Croatian fans behaved without causing a single incident and with showing respect during the whole tournament. We are very proud of the predominantly calm but yet clearly opposing reaction of this majority of Croatian fans inside the stands during and after the despicable hooligans attacks. Croatian public even created a public Facebook page, sharing evidence of the terrible violent and racist acts, revealing the names of the perpetrators in public

The sad truth behind all of this is that everything, all plans in almost all details were known in advance. Information was shared with the Croatian Football Federation, with media, with the Croatian police and with the UEFA Security Officer. Everybody knew that Croatian hooligans were coming and planning an attack inside the ground.

Against this background, we are wondering how it is possible that the French police have been so ignorant in the light of this intelligence?

How is possible that recorded hooligans could enter the stadium after the warning? How is possible to bring such a quantity of pyro and firecrackers into a stadium to throw them onto the pitch, and all of this after police and stadium security were informed of the plans?

It was also known to the police, that the fans had planned to invade the pitch in the 85th minute.

How is possible that hooligans were identified on the stands and pointed out and reported to stewards and other services and nothing happens?

Is it not the job of the police to keep us all safe?

If hooligans were throwing bombs, will the French police react eventually?

Why we as the responsible fans and our members who are running the Croatian Fans Embassy that had all this info, were never invited to the regular security meetings despite respective requests made from the European fans organisation Football Supporters Europe?

How is possible that the hooligans responsible for literally the same actions in Milano can still walk around freely?

What should we do next, whom should we report to, to finally be heard and trigger change?

We are trying to do our part to change things. So far with no effect or institutional support at all. Moreover, we are punished for their actions as well by UEFA sanctions, such as matches behind closed doors. What did the 99% of the Croatian Fans do wrong to deserve this?

Are we as real fans supposed to deal with hooliganism on our own, in the light of the absence of support from any state agency, police or institution and football body in this? 

Tomorrows newspapers repeat our press release in which we invited everybody to come to Bordeaux to support our team and to prevent hooliganism under the motto:

Croatia to defend itself in Bordeaux!

Many Croatian fan groups contacted us after the attacks and expressed their opposition to what happened and announced they will be coming to Bordeaux. Many veterans from Split and from all over Croatia are coming. They want to show that we don’t want our football destroyed like this, neither by corruption and filth at governing level, nor by hooligan attacks on the back of all fans.

We are inviting the Croatian state and UEFA as well to join us in the fight against hooliganism. Now is the time to act!

We call upon UEFA, the Croatian state and football bodies to punish those individuals that actually commit the crime, not the victims, such as the many thousands of peaceful Croatian fans who have celebrated in international solidarity with all other fans throughout this EURO 2016.

Fan Club Uvijek Vjerni

Croatia

CROATIAN:
PRIOPĆENJE KLUBA NAVIJAÇA UVIJEK VJERNI VEZANO ZA HULIGSNSKO DJELOVANJA U SAINT-ETIENNEU

Povodom nedavnih nasilnih i rasističkih incidenata u Saint-Etienne, izražavamo zgražanje i osudu u ime svih pravih hrvatskih navijača. Istovremeno, postoji niz otvorenih pitanja i komentara koji zaslužuju odgovore.

Hrvatskih navijači nisu napravili niti najmanji incident te su tijekom cijelog turnira pokazivali poštovanje prema svima. Vrlo smo ponosni na jasnu i odlučnu reakcije protiv huligana unutar tribina za vrijeme i nakon odvratnog huliganskog napada. Hrvatska javnost kreirala je i javnu Facebook stranicu gdje se nakon evidentnih dokaza o nedjelima, imena počinitelja javno prikazuju u javnosti.

Tužna je istina da su svi planovi huliganskog djelovanja bili unaprijed poznati. Informacije je imao HNS, mediji, hrvatska policija i UEFAin djelatnik za sigurnost. Svi su znali da hrvatski huligani dolaze i planiraju napad.

U tom kontekstu, pitatamo se kako je moguće da je francuska policija bila toliko neupućena sa svim informacijama i logistikom?!

Kako je moguće da evidentirani huligani mogli ući na stadion nakon upozorenja? Kako je moguće da se unese tolika količina pirotehnike i topovskih udara na stadion te da ih se baca na teren, a sve to nakon što su policija i sigurnosne službe na stadionu bili informirani o planovima huligana?

Policija je znala, ušli su u 82 minuti, a prekid je planiran za 85 minutu.

Kako je moguće da su huligani identificirani i na tribinama te pokazani svim sigurnosnim sluzbama na stadionu i da se ništa ne dogodi?

Nije li to posao policije da svim posjetiteljima osigura sigurnost na stadionu?

Da su huligani bacali bombe, da li bi tada francuska policija reagirala?

Zašto mi kao odgovorni navijači i tim hrvatskog veleposlanstva za hrvatske navijače nismo pozvani na sastanak o sigurnosni unatoč traženja od strane Football Supporters Europe?

Kako je moguće da su huligani koji su odgovorni za doslovno ista nedjela u Milanu hodaju potpuno slobodni?

Što više trebamo učiniti, kome prijaviti da nas se konačno čuje i dogodi nešto?

Mi smo napravili naš dio posla kako bi se stvari promijenili. Nažalost bez učinka i bilo kakve podrške institucija. Pored toga, mi smo kažnjeni za postupke holigana sankcijama UEFA-e poput igranja pred praznim tribinama. Da li su pravi hrvatskih navijači krivi za ovo?

Da li se mi kao pravi navijači trebamo baviti problemom hooliganizma, budući nemamo nikakvu podršku od bilo koje državne institucije, policije, organizacije ili nogometnog tijela u ovoj borbi?

Novine u hrvatskoj ponavljaju naše priopćenje u kojem smo pozvali sve da dođu u Bordeaux i podrže našu reprezentaciju te spriječe huliganizam koji najviše šteti Hrvatskoj državi pod sloganom:

Hrvatska se brani u Bordeauxu!

Mnoge hrvatski navijački su nas kontaktirali nakon napada i izrazili svoje protivljenje onome što se dogodilo te su najavili dolazak u Bordeaux. Mnogi branitelji iz Splita i iz cijele Hrvatske dolaze na utakmicu. Svi s ciljem da se ne dopusti unistavanje hrvatskog nogometa na ovakav način niti uz korupciju i prljavštinu na razini vlade, niti huliganskih napada preko leđa svih navijača.

Pozivamo hrvatsku državu, a također i UEFAu da nam se pridruže u borbi protiv huliganizma. Sada je vrijeme za djelovanje!

Dodatno, pozivamo UEFA-u, hrvatsku državu i nogometne tijela da kazni one pojedince koji počinili zločin, a ne nas žrtve, tisuće pristojnih hrvatskih navijača koji su slavili feštu nogometa zajedno sa svim ostalim fanovima na cijelom EURO 2016.

Fan Club Uvijek Vjerni
Hrvatska