Slovakia's Foreign Affairs Ministry is recommending that Slovak citizens think twice before attending football match in Split, Croatia between Hajduk Split and MSK Žilina scheduled for Thursday, August 6, Ministry spokesman Peter Stano told the TASR newswire on August 3.
“This (recommendation) only concerns attending the stadium or the city centre on match day, not taking a holiday in Croatia as such,” explained Stano.
Croatian Foreign Affairs Minister Gordan Jandrokovic in a telephone call with his Slovak counterpart Miroslav Lajčák on July 31 apologised for the rowdy behaviour of the Hajduk Split fans in Žilina during the first match. Slovak police detained 230 people during the biggest crackdown by security forces in the history of Slovak football.
The disturbances took place on July 30 before the first leg of the UEFA Europa League third preliminary-round match. The Croat fans, who had been banned from attending the match by UEFA, were involved in skirmishes in the centre of the town, threatening local people and attacking police officers, before smashing property en route to the football stadium, police officials reported.
According to Police Corps vice-president Stanislav Jankovič, the police expelled 219 Croatian fans from Slovakia. They had to leave the country within two days and are prohibited from entering the EU again for five years.
“During the intervention, 52 police officers and 18 foreigners were injured who then received treatment in Žilina region hospitals, while dozens of others were treated for light injuries," said Jankovič, adding that approximately 650 police took part in the operation. All fans of the Croatian club were prevented from entering the stadium before the match by the police because UEFA has imposed a blanket ban on all Hajduk Split supporters attending foreign matches.
Referring to potential reprisals following the police intervention, Lajčák has asked Jandrokovic to do everything he can to make sure that Slovak tourists have a trouble-free stay in Croatia, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Peter Stano told TASR on August 2.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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