FIFA trying to identify fans filmed fighting at World Cup match
June 23, 2018 01:51 AM NPT
MOSCOW, June 23: Football’s world governing body FIFA said on Friday it was trying to identify fans shown fighting in a video filmed at Thursday’s World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia.
Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 in their Group D match, played in the Russian city of Nizhny Novgorod, leaving the hopes of the twice world champions hanging by a thread.
A video filmed during the match and circulated widely on social media shows a group of men in Argentina and Croatia team colours fighting in the stands. One Croatian supporter is punched and hit repeatedly while lying on the floor and then kicked in the head.
“We are absolutely shocked by the images in question. FIFA firmly condemns the behaviour of these so-called fans,” a FIFA spokesman said in written comments to Reuters.
“FIFA is cooperating with the relevant security authorities and will do its utmost to contribute to identifying the individuals involved in these criminal acts in order to ensure that they are punished accordingly.”
FIFA and host nation Russia have promised to hold a safe and welcoming World Cup despite concerns ahead of the tournament about hooliganism and the potential for fan violence.
The Croatian Football Federation said it would support FIFA’s investigation and was trying to get information about the Croatian fan in the video.
“The Croatian Football Federation is shocked by the video showing an incident at the Nizhny Novgorod stadium,” a spokesman told Reuters.
“We always strongly condemn and oppose any sort of fan violence, physical or verbal, and we are obviously very saddened to see a Croatian fan suffering in this video.”
Russia’s Local Organising Committee, the embassies of Argentina and Croatia, and a spokesman for the Argentine Football Association did not immediately respond to requests for comment.