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Arrest of Croatia chief Srebric at Gatwick "misunderstanding"

The arrest of a Croatian football chief at Gatwick Airport before the Euro 2008 clash against England has been dismissed as "a misunderstanding".

Zorislav Srebric, 67 - general secretary of Croatia's FA - was held on suspicion of shoplifting on Tuesday in WHSmith at the West Sussex airport's South Terminal.

He was later released without charge - and no further action will be taken, a Sussex Police spokesman said.

In a statement, the CFF said a misunderstanding arose as Mr Srebic was buying newspapers but then noticed his team enter the airport building.

He hurried to organise them through airport control. But police thought he was trying to avoid paying for the papers, the CFF statement added.

The CFF said: "Unfortunately, he was taken to a police station where they determined that it was a misunderstanding but instead of five minutes he should stay for a while because of procedure."

Mr Srebric was arrested in front of stunned players shortly after arriving at the airport, The Sun newspaper reported.

A Sussex Police spokesman said: "A 67-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of theft from WHSmith at Gatwick Airport's South Terminal. He was released without charge, and no further action will be taken."

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