Zurich: Croatia defender Josip Simunic will miss the 2014 World Cup in Brazil after being suspended for 10 matches by Fifa for making pro-Nazi chants at the end of last month’s playoff victory over Iceland.
Simunic was also fined $33,800 and “banned from entering the confines of the stadiums with regard to the 10 matches for which he is suspended”.
“The disciplinary committee took note that the player, together with the crowd, shouted a Croatian salute that was used during World War II by the fascist ‘Ustase’ movement,” world soccer’s ruling body said in a statement on Monday.
“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.
“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 10 official matches,” said Fifa.
At the end of Croatia’s 2-0 win on November 19, Australia-born Simunic took the microphone at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb, turned to the stands and shouted “Za dom” (for the Homeland), to which the audience replied “Spremni” (Ready).