Although some explain this as the final resort of activists aiming at Zdravko Mamić and Davor Šuker, the public generally aims to silence such activity
After a shameful disruption of the Croatia-Czech Republic match at the EURO 2016 competition, reactions have poured from all sides with differing views on the situation, mostly of disbelief that anyone would consider such an event a place to resolve internal grudges. Protests aimed at the Croatian Football Federation President Davor Šuker and his Deputy Zdravko Mamić exploded on the playing field, where they are certainly not supposed to be.
Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović has called for an emergency government session, citing the need for harsher prison terms to deal with hooligans of the sort. “Regarding the security of spectators and players it is necessary to urgently sanction hooliganism, inappropriate behaviour, disorder and violence, before, during and after a sports competition,” the President explained in her letter.
Deputy PM Božo Petrov called the event a “battle by pompous persons who are using all institutions for their selfish interests against the disappointed and disgraced persons who are ready for anything, including shaming their own nation to achieve their vengeful goals,” the latter referring to Zdravko Mamić.
National team selector Ante Čačić sees the team he leads as a “symbol of patriotism, hopefully the ones who shamed the nation, a minority group will be recognised and placed where they belong.”
Former national team selector and West Ham Coach Slaven Bilić mentioned that in “the brawl most supporters told the small group not to do this, but some of them are there on a mission. This is probably not the last time they will do this.”
The most prominent figure this protest is focused on is Zdravko Mamić, currently Deputy President of the Croatian Football Union. His outrage was clear: “This is not only against our state, this is against the Croatian man! Ten million Croats around the world are proud of the national team. Instead of cheering, celebrating, these characters made us sad, humiliated and ashamed. It is the fault of the political elite, specifically the last two governments. They should be ashamed!”
The Croatian Football Fenderation’s Executive Board sent a statement thanking the roughly 10,000 supporters in St. Etienne for a fantastic show, citing that possibly for the first time this crowd sent a strong NO to the violence, flares, intolerance and discrimination.
The Supporters Club of the national football team called on all fans to support the team in Bordeaux, calling on them “not to allow to be distracted by a band of hooligans whose aim is to tarnish all that is Croatian.”
Former national team player Aljoša Asanović had his own message: “Leaving aside Mamić and Šuker, don’t these 23 players deserve all the respect? They play with so much love and motivation for Croatia. As we all did before them. Simply, this is not acceptable and must be ended.”