Croatia Fire Assistant Coach for Posting 'Glory to Ukraine' Video to Facebook

May JohnsonJul 10, 2018

"Still, I do not think that FIFA's reaction to Vida's statement was sufficient".

So high in fact that coach Ognjen Vukojevic and Croatian defender, Domagoj Vida, published a "glory to Ukraine" video on to social media following the win.

The Croatian Football Federation apologizes to the Russian public for the actions of their national team staff member.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has warned Croatia defender Domagoj Vida about his conduct after he made pro-Ukraine comments after Saturday's World Cup quarterfinal victory over hosts Russia.

Croatia's soccer federation said it was firing an assistant coach for his role in a controversial video by a Croatian player following the team's World Cup victory over Russia.

Croatia's Domagoj Vida can play against England in Wednesday's World Cup semi-final despite featuring in a pro-Ukraine video.

Hosts Russia were defeated 4-3 on penalties by Croatia in the quarter-finals on Saturday. Both Vida and Vukojevic previously played for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev, and Vukojevic is now a scout there.

"I am happy to speak the Russian language, I enjoy Russian hospitality at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be understood as anything else but an expression of gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support - not in the match against Russia, but during the entire World Cup".

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

Vida scored an extra-time goal in the match and converted one of Croatia's penalties in the shootout win in Sochi.

"There's no politics in football".

"My statements were truly not meant to have any political connotations, and my only intention was to thank my friends in Ukraine for their support, and to thank my club, Dynamo Kiev, for permitting me to participate at the World Cup".

"Our intention was not to offend anyone".

"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. In the meantime, Domagoj Vida apologized, and Federation Internationale de Football Association decided against suspending the player.

Serbia was charged for fans' "display of discriminatory banners and messages by Serbian supporters as well as for throwing objects during the match", Federation Internationale de Football Association said.

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