Both Italy and Croatia must have thought that they have left the last signs of World War II long behind them, when they faced each other, at the Poljud Stadium.
However, the terrors of fascism resurfaced again, as the Nazia s Swastika symbol was visible on the pitch, where Croatia played a Euro 2016 Qualifier against Italy, on Friday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.
The country has a notorious history of being under a pupped-Nazi occupation, in the Second World War under this regime, around 30,000 Jews from the region, had been killed, or sent to concentration camps in Germany.
A part of the country was also under the occupation of the then fascist Italian regime. Ironically however, according to The Guardian, the Italian FA has launched an official complaint to the UEFA, about the Swastika symbol, that was visible on the pitch, at the Poljud Stadium.
The Croatian team and/or the Croatian Football Federation (CFF) could face bans, or punishments, imposed by the UEFA.
The swastika was visible on the pitch, towards the half that Italy was attacking, in the first half. The ground officials tried to eradicate the sign at halftime, but their efforts were in vain.
The CFF has apologised however, for the occurrence of the countrya s terrible past, on the pitch, and have urged the police to catch the perpetrators, who are believed to have used some sort of chemical on the pitch, around 24 to 48 hours before the match.
a We apologise to all viewers, our guests from Italy and the players from both teams, for the Nazi symbol on the Poljud Stadium grass,a CFF spokesperson Tomislav Pacak was quoted saying, by ESPN
He further said, a This was an obvious act of sabotage and a criminal act. We condemn it and ask the police and judicial bodies to find the person(s) responsible for what is a shame not only for Croatian football, but the entire country.a
Croatian football has already been plagued by the swastika symbol, which again, in a friendly match against Italy, nine years ago, in Livorno. Back then, a group of Croatia fans had formed a human-swastika symbol, in the stands.
The countrya s national team were already playing their home matches behind closed doors, due to racist chants by their fans, and recurring defaults like these could force the UEFA to take stricter action.