Prohibited Flag Display during Croatia – Latvia Clash Results in Jail Sentence and Ban

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The Municipal Court in the Croatian city of Rijeka has reached a verdict against two defendants for an offence during last week’s European Qualifying match between Croatia and Latvia.

During the Croatia – Latvia match at HNK Rijeka Stadium, two individuals displayed an Ustasha flag that was prohibited by law on multiple occasions, leading UEFA to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation (HNS).

The Municipal Court in Rijeka has imposed a monetary fine of 1,300 euros on the first defendant, and a 20-day prison sentence on the second defendant.

Additionally, both have been subject to a protective measure prohibiting their attendance at all sports events involving the Croatian national football team within the territory of the Republic of Croatia, with an obligation to report to the police station for two years.

The same measure applies to their attendance at overseas matches of the Croatian national team, including the obligation to surrender their travel documents and report to the police station for two years.

Furthermore, proceedings against a third individual involved in this incident are ongoing, along with a criminal investigation aimed at fully elucidating all circumstances related to this event, HNS said in a statement on Friday.

“The Croatian Football Federation expresses its gratitude to the relevant authorities for their prompt and decisive actions and welcomes the penalties imposed on individuals who tarnished the reputation of Croatia by displaying prohibited symbols. The HNS remains resolute in its intention to take all necessary legal steps against individuals who, through deliberate and targeted unlawful behaviour, have caused significant harm to the Croatian national football team,” it says.

For informational purposes, the Croatian Football Federation released a photograph that substantiates the unlawful conduct and the display of a Ustasha flag, prohibited by the laws of the Republic of Croatia. The forbidden Ustasha symbol is located in the upper left corner of the flag.

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