Croatia's PM slams racist abuse16 February 2006

The racist abuse of African and South American players featuring in Croatia's league has been condemned by the country's prime minister.

“We are living in a century in which tolerance should be cultivated. We have to stop racist acts,” Ivo Sanader told the Sportske Novosti newspaper.

Cameroonian Mathias Chago and Brazilians Eduardo da Silva and Oeliton Araujo dos Santos Etto, who play for Dinamo Zagreb, were taunted with monkey chants during the match against arch-rivals Hadjuk Split. Sportske Novosti condemned the “shameful eruption of racism” during the match, which was also interrupted on several occasions when flares were thrown onto the pitch.

Hajduk Split could be fined US$20,000 for the racist behaviour of their fans, as well as playing their next game behind closed doors. The club had already been fined $3,600 this season, after its supporters waved racist banners during its previous encounter with Dinamo.

FARE are in the early stages of developing work with the Croatian ‘Step Ahead’ youth project, who organised an action with the professional club HNK Rijeka during the 2005 Action Week.