VIENNA May 21 Petitioners who urged hosts
Austria to withdraw from Euro 2008 after some poor performances
have been fined for misuse of the national coat of arms, an
organiser told Reuters on Wednesday.
Michael Kriess, the son of former Austrian international
Werner and a coordinator of the campaign which attracted 10,000
signatures, said a court had fined him 1,500 euros ($2,364) for
damage to the country's reputation and standing.
The court in Innsbruck was not immediately available for
The black Austrian eagle with a golden crown appears on the
Web site of the online petition (www.rueckgrat.cc) with a
football obscuring its head.
Kriess said he would challenge the fine in court in June.
"I am not worried about the Austrian team embarrassing
themselves. I'm fully expecting it," he said of the tournament,
where Austria are in Group B with Germany, Croatia and Poland.
According to petitioners, fans fell into a dismal state of
depression during a nine-match winless run last year and wished
to hand their place to the best of the teams who failed to
qualify for the tournament.
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Padraic Halpin)