Published March 11, 2013
ZAGREB, Croatia – Croatia has rejected a warning from European soccer's ruling body that fan violence and racism could lead to its teams being banned from international competitions.
Croatia says the same problems are rife throughout Europe. Its sports ministers and police said Monday that the governing body should concentrate more on its own corruption and betting scandals than criticizing the Balkan country.
Neighboring Serbia has also been warned by UEFA but says it will do all it can to curb hooliganism at stadiums.
UEFA President Michel Platini has twice in two years warned Serbian and Croatian political leaders that their national and club teams face suspension if they don't act to curb the problems.
Croatia and Serbia meet in a World Cup qualifier March 22 in Zagreb, Croatia.