Possible suspension from European championship qualifiers, Mamić brothers, Europa and Champions League qualifications…
While the week started with one big UEFA event – final announcement of the date when Sepp Blatter will leave football’s governing body which was overshadowed by Jason Bent’s fake money shower stunt Croatian Football Federation is biting its nails because of another impending UEFA event – decision on the punishment for the “swastika scandal” during the Croatia – Italy European Championship qualifying game.
While most of our football experts are throwing in their two cents predicting punishments such as point deduction, another game without an audience or record fines, brave ones are not skipping the possibility of the Croatian team being thrown out of the qualifiers all together. As reported by Index, representatives of the Croatian Football Federation are unusually pessimistic, and they have every reason to be. With repeated racist and fascist incidents on our stadiums, it is almost certain the punishment will be drastic this time. Damage control was in full swing for the last few weeks, even the Prime minister Milanović sent a letter to the president of UEFA, so true football fans are hoping that UEFA will take pity on us and that we will be able to watch the 2018 FIFA World Cup preliminary draw from St. Petersburg this Saturday with a slight dose of optimism.
All impending UEFA news aside, 4 Croatian clubs will chase their dreams of a Europen autumn in their respective Champions and Europa League qualifying games. Dinamo will try to wash out the bitter taste of defeat today in their rematch against Fole Esch from Luxemburg, Hajduk still has a slight chance of reaching the next round against Koper in Split, Lokomotiva has to at least keep their favourable result from the first game against Greek PAOK (coached by Igor Tudor) while Rijeka will try to do the impossible and overturn 0:3 against Aberdeen.
Champions League game between Fola Esch and Dinamo is on tonight at 21:00 (HRT 2) while all the Europa League qualifying games are on tomorrow: Hajuk – Koper and PAOK – Lokomotiva both at 19:00 and Aberdeen – Rjeka at 20:45