Croatia blamed as fans taunt Canadian Milan Borjan at World Cup


A disciplinary case was opened against Croatia at the World Cup on Tuesday after the team’s fans mocked a Canadian player with family ties to Serbia.

FIFA said the accusation against the Croatian football federation was « due to the behavior of its supporters » and cited rules relating to discrimination and safety at matches.

Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan was born in an ethnic Serb region of Croatia that was part of the conflict that divided the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s. Borjan’s family left their hometown in 1995 when it was taken by Croatian forces amid stories that ethnic Serbs fled on tractors.

During Canada’s 4-1 loss on Sunday, a banner unfurled by Croatian fans used a flag from tractor manufacturer John Deere and changed the marketing slogan to target Borjan.

Borjan moved with his family to Canada as a child and chose to represent that country, although he plays for Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.

FIFA gave no timetable for a verdict in the case, which would usually be settled by a fine for the federation.

Croatian Football Association spokesman Tomislav Pacak would not comment on the specific case, but said the organization « always condemns any form of racism, any form of discrimination and we call on fans and every individual not to behave in this way ».

In the first World Cup disciplinary verdict on Tuesday, FIFA fined the German soccer federation 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,500) for failing to bring players to the mandatory press conference a day before. a match.

German coach Hansi Flick appeared alone on Saturday in violation of tournament rules ahead of the game against Spain.


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