Croatia sack assistant ahead of World Cup semi-final with England

Jul 10, 2018, 02:30
Croatia sack assistant ahead of World Cup semi-final with England

Vida issued a statement after the Federation Internationale de Football Association ruling calling the incident a misunderstanding.

The video shows Vida, who scored against Russian Federation, shouting "glory to Ukraine" before Vukojevic adds "this win is for Dynamo and Ukraine. go Croatia".

"HNS hereby apologises to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation", it said.

The Croatian football association (HNS) said Monday Vukojevic had been "relieved from his duties as an expert associate of the Croatia squad and is no longer a member of the Croatian delegation at the World Cup".

Earlier, had reported how Croatia president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic rushed into the dressing room to celebrate with the players after their penalty win over Russian Federation.

"The Croatian Football Association has chose to undo Vukojevic's functions at the Croatian National Team where he performed the role of the observer and his team accreditation for the World Cup was withdrawn", the statement in Croatian said.

Croatia face England in the World Cup semifinals in Moscow on Wednesday.

In the video, posted on Facebook by Ukrainian journalist Andrey Shakhov, Vida said: "Glory to Ukraine".

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The 34-year-old retired footballer is said to have been thrown out of Russia by the Croatian Football Federation after posting a politically-charged video with defender Domagoj Vida on social media.

Vida, 29, who scored in extra-time against Russian Federation and also in the penalty shootout, had earlier attempted to clarify the clip. Football is outside politics. It's a joke for my friends from Dynamo Kiev.

"Our intention was not to offend anyone".

Both Vukojevic and Vida previously played for the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv.

"I don't want to be a burden to our team ahead of the extremely important semifinal match of the World Cup, at the moment when the most needed thing for the national team is peace, " Vukojevic told Croatian state broadcaster HRT.

During the group stage of the World Cup, FIFA fined three Switzerland players for making hand gestures of an "Albanian eagle" symbol to celebrate goals against Serbia and cleared them to continue playing.