Fifa fines Croatia over fans’ xenophobic chants
FIFA on Wednesday sanctioned World Cup quarter-finalists Croatia following abuse by their fans targeting Canada’s goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
A disciplinary inquiry fined the Croatian federation 50,000 Swiss francs (50,674 euros, $53,000) “in relation to the behavior of Croatian supporters during the Croatia v. Canada FIFA World Cup match on 27 November,” a statement announced.
During the match in Doha, Croatia fans verbally insulted Borjan, an ethnic Serb, who was born in Croatia but fled the country as a child.
They also brandished banners, including one which referred to a 1995 military operation that ended Croatia’s independence war.
During and after the operation more than 200,000 ethnic Serbs fled the country, including Borjan’s family.
Croatia’s punishment comes 48 hours before they take on Brazil in the last-eight on Friday.
The Serbian federation was also in the FIFA dock, receiving a 20,000 Swiss franc fine over a controversial flag depicting Kosovo hung up in the team’s dressing room during their group game against Brazil.
The Kosovo football federation (FFK) filed a complaint with the governing body after photos showed a version of the Serbian flag with a map including Kosovo as part of the country and stamped with the slogan “there will be no surrender”.
Kosovo, a former Yugoslav province with an Albanian majority, declared independence from Serbia in 2008, which Belgrade refuses to recognize.
In a third case before FIFA’s disciplinary committee, six bookings for the Saudi Arabian team in their games against Argentina and Mexico cost their federation two fines of 15,000 Swiss francs each.