Croatia blamed as fans taunt Canadian Milan Borjan at World Cup


FIFA opened disciplinary proceedings against Croatia on Tuesday due to fans’ taunts aimed at Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who has Serbian family ties, during the FIFA World Cup match.

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. This followed an official complaint from Canada Soccer.

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 they were captured 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. The abuse was particularly strong in the second half when Borjan’s goal was just past the Croatian fans.

Borjan was 13 when his family moved to Canada – first to Winnipeg, then to Hamilton a year later. He plays in his football club for the legendary Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.

The 35-year-old has won 71 caps for Canada.

FIFA gave no timetable for a verdict in the case which would usually be tried with a fine for the federation.

In the first World Cup disciplinary verdict on Tuesday, FIFA fined the German football federation 10,000 Swiss francs (C$14,000) for failing to bring players to the mandatory press conference. a day before a match.

Coach Hansi Flick appeared alone on Saturday in breach of tournament rules to meet the international media in Doha ahead of the team taking on Spain.

With files from The Canadian Press.


Back to top button