Contradictory decisions continue, this time because of Operation Storm.
Just before their upcoming rematch against Stromsgodset, Hajduk is once again nervously awaiting a decision from UEFA regarding the latest “incident” on Poljud. Apparently, Hajduk is facing a possibility of playing their next Europa League game without spectators because of a banner that was shortly stretched across the eastern stands. The banner read ” The Storm liberated our country, football fans will liberate Croatian football with a storm of their own. War veterans and their friends”.
At the same time, UEFA, as reported by Serbian media, allowed Partizan to open their Champions League Qualifying game against Steaua with a minute of silence for Serbian victims of Operation Storm.
Hajduk’s banner was reported because of so called political racism and according to UEFA’s Disciplinary rule-book, Hajduk is now facing a 50 000 Euro fine as a recidivist as well as a game without spectators. We must note that the first report prepared by the official delegate (Adonis Procopiouo of Cyprus) stated only few minor incidents such as the crowded exits around the stands and use of pyrotechnics while the banner only came up as a subject of conversation one day after the game in question.
Hajduk tried to explain the meaning of the banner and the absurdity of the report to UEFA, even asked for a hearing in Nyon which was turned down by UEFA so the club sent a comprehensive statement to the UEFA headquarters. Croatian Football federation is also helping along with FARE, organisation fighting against discrimination and racism in football.
Decision of the Disciplinary committee is expected tomorrow.