Croatia and the Czech Republic met today in Saint Etienne for their Group D clash in Euro 2016, but the game won’t be remembered for what happened on the pitch — well, not for soccer-related things anyway.
Croatia was up 2-1 in the 86th minute and seemingly on their way to a victory, which would have put them atop Group D and sent them through to the knockout stages when Croatian supporters started throwing flares onto the field.
The game was halted so stewards could get the flares off the pitch.
But before the field could be cleared, things got worse. As a steward reached down to pick up something that had been thrown onto the field, it exploded. It is unclear if this was a flare or a firework of some sort.
Eventually the field was cleared and the match resumed, ending in a 2-2 draw.
This is an obvious safety issue that will definitely get the attention of UEFA, European football’s governing body, and they will likely have something to say about it, especially with all the violence that has surrounded the tournament so far.
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