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  1. ITV Report

Crowd trouble interrupts Italy's clash with Croatia

Flares were thrown onto the pitch. Photo: Reuters

UEFA look set to launch an investigation into the crowd trouble which marred Italy's Euro 2016 Group H qualifier against Croatia, which was halted after flares were thrown onto the pitch at the Giuseppe Meazza Stadium.

Antonio Candreva had put the Azzurri ahead on 11 minutes, but that was quickly cancelled out when Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon fumbled a shot from Ivan Perisic (15) to over the line.

Flares were then thrown onto the field by the Croatia fans, with a hold-up before play was able to be resumed.

The atmosphere continued to be hostile into the second half, and on 70 minutes Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers took the players off after more flares landed on the pitch, with Italian riot police going into the Croatia fans to try to restore order.

Croatia's supporters throw flares onto the field. Credit: Reuters

Following a stoppage of around 12 minutes, the match eventually restarted, and Croatia spurned a great chance to win the tie when Perisic dragged his shot wide after being put away down the left, with the match finishing 1-1.

Croatia are ahead of Italy on goal difference with both teams level on 10 points from four matches and facing possible sanctions once UEFA have compiled all the necessary reports.

Croatia coach Niko Kovac has since apologised for the ugly scenes.

"I apologise to everyone, especially the Italians, for our supporters' behaviour," Kovac said.

"I was disappointed and helpless, there are no right words for this. If someone has a problem, he has to deal with it outside the stadium.

"This is not the real image of Croatia, Croatians are honest people that respect other nations, while this kind of behaviour leads nowhere. Of course, Croatia will face sanctions, but I think there is no reason for any point deductions."