World Cup: Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan victim of racism

DOHA, Qartar | Croatia supporters have not gone too far with Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan, and Canada Soccer has asked FIFA to see to it.

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FIFA has therefore opened a disciplinary investigation in connection with a banner of Croatian supporters which addressed the goalkeeper of Canada, a Serb of origin, born in Croatia.

It was during the second half that Borjan was mostly the target of mockery from Croatian supporters since they were right behind his net.

In addition to the banner, the Croats also led insulting chants at the Canadian goalkeeper.

Borjan was born in Knin, a predominantly Serb region of Croatia that was part of Yugoslavia at the time.


The region was at the heart of the conflict that tore the former country apart in the 1990s. Borjan and his family left Knin in 1995 when it was taken by Croatian forces. It was rumored at the time that the Serbs had fled on tractors.

The banner clearly showed a John Deere tractor and an advertising slogan that had been changed to target Borjan.

The family moved to Canada when Borjan was 13 and settled first in Winnipeg.

The Borjans then made their way to Hamilton where they still reside. Borjan plays for Red Star Belgrade.


The Canadian players knew that this kind of situation could arise, Borjan had warned them because he knew that he would be the target of the Croats.

“We support Milan, began Jonathan Osorio at a press conference on Tuesday. He educated us on the subject before the match and we knew a little what he was going to live.

The Toronto FC midfielder was very clear, these are gestures that are unacceptable for the Reds.

« No one here and in Canada tolerates this kind of discrimination, we are fully behind him and I hope the right thing is done at the end of the investigation. »

Good atmosphere

Getting back to soccer, even if Canada was eliminated following its loss against Croatia, it seems that we are walking with our heads down.

“The atmosphere is good even if we are all disappointed to be eliminated, agreed Jonathan Osorio. We believe we were good enough to make it to the next round even though the results were not in our favour.

« We played well against Belgium and against Croatia, we were beaten by a better team and we can learn from this game. »

We must also have a thought for the players who have not yet touched the field, like Samuel Piette for example.

“There are only eleven players and five substitutes, began Osorio. There is a lot of preparatory work ahead of a match.

« We need each of the 26 players who are here so that everything falls into place and we have a very strong fraternity which has not changed since the start of the tournament. »

A victory

Canada will face Morocco on Thursday in its final game. The Reds have nothing more to gain, but the Moroccans will fight for a place in the round of 16.

“The simple fact of being here is sufficient motivation to play to the maximum in all the matches, insisted Alphonso Davies. Morocco need to win to move on and we are not going to make it easy for them.”

Jonathan Osorio thinks of his side to write the history of Canadian football after this first goal scored against the Croats.

“We’re not just content to be at the World Cup. We want to write history in this last match.

« We want to at least bring home a win for Canada in our last game. »


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