The new West Ham coach gives his opinion on those behind the swastika stunt at the recent Croatia-Italy game.
The controversy surrounding the swastika on the pitch at the recent Croatia – Italy European Championship qualifier, for which Croatia was deducted one point, continues in the international media, as former Croatian national coach and current West Ham boss Slaven Bilic was quoted in The Daily Telegraph on July 30, 2015 saying that those behind the stunt were merely attention seekers, and not racist.
“I do not think that [those responsible] are racist,” said Bilic, former star of the national team, both as a player and a coach.
“They are doing it just for the sake of doing it. Because, nowadays, with this media, if you do something you are on YouTube all over the world, and you find yourself a hero for that group of people.
“Some people wrote that [Croatia] are racist, but of course we are not racist. We are everything but racist. And you cannot say that Croatian fans are racist. I do not know how many of them are- maybe ten, or one hundred- but it is no more than that who are doing these things.
On the Croatian Football Association, Bilic had this to say.
“I cannot really blame the Croatian Football Association,” Bilic said. “I am a Croatian, and I am from Split, and I know that the FA is trying and that the government are trying to sort things out. They are trying, but it is impossible to stop somebody yelling when they are stood in the stand.”