croatia uefa
Empty spectator stands during the Euro 2016 Group H qualifying match between Croatia and Italy in Split last monthReuters

The UEFA have heavily come down on Croatia and have deducted one point from their tally of points garnered from the European Championship 2016 qualifying in Group H.

The announcement was made after a mark of swastika was found at Croatia's home turf in Split during a match against Italy last month.

The European football Governing body announced in their release that the UEFA Control, Ethics and Disciplinary Body have also fined the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) €100,000 (£70,000), and "the HNS has also been ordered to play its next two home matches in UEFA competition behind closed doors and not to play any of its remaining qualifying games at the Stadion Poljud in Split."

The incident took place on 12 June during a 1-1 draw against the Italy.

Croatia's president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic bemoaned that the incident caused "immeasurable damage [to the country's reputation]", as quoted by the BBC, and he called for swift investigations on the same.

The hearing of the case by UEFA took place on 16 July, and they came up with the decision of docking one point from the Euro 2016 Group H leaders.

Despite getting a point snatched, Niko Kovac's side still lead the standings in the group, and they stay one point above Italy – who are on 12 points.

The HNS, meanwhile, also claimed that the incident last month, was an act of "sabotage and a felony", and they expected the police to identify the perpetrators.

"This is a disgrace not just for the HNS but for the whole of Croatia." Tomislav Pacak, a Croatian Football Federation (HNS) spokesman, had said.

"As far as we have learned, the symbol was imprinted into the pitch between 24 and 48 hours before the match so that it could be visible during the game," added Pacak.

The incident also made Croatia great Davor Suker -- current president of the Croatian football association -- uneasy, and he is personally very disappointed.

"It's one of our problems and we are working to fix it,'' said Suker. "We'll speak about it, but I'm very angry."

The swastika is widely recognised as the symbol of Nazi Germany, led by infamous dictator Adolf Hitler.

It was also ironical that the game against Italy was played behind closed doors, as a punishment for Croatia fans' racist chants against Norway in March.

Croatia play Azerbaijan next on 3 September in an away Group H game in Baku.

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