Croatian defender Simunic hit with 10-game ban, will miss World Cup

Ben Blake
Croatian defender Simunic hit with 10-game ban, will miss World Cup

Croatian international josip Simunic has received a ten-match suspension from FIFA.

After Croatia’s World Cup play-off win over Iceland to qualify for next year’s final, the 35-year-old defender was seen addressing fans in Zagreb by shouting: “For the homeland”, a chant which was used by the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime the Ustashas during World War II.

FIFA announced last month that it was starting an investigation into the incident and today has confirmed that the Dinamo Zagreb player will be banned for a total of ten games. As a result, he will miss the entire World Cup finals.

Simunic has also been fined 30,000 Swiss francs (€24,000).

A FIFA statement reads: “The committee took note that the player, together with the crowd, shouted a Croatian salute that was used during World War II by the fascist “Ustaše” movement.

As a consequence, the committee agreed that this salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning, inter alia, race, religion or origin, in a clear breach of article 58 par. 1a) of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

“After taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incident, the committee decided to suspend the player for ten official matches.”

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