Fiji Times Logo

Fiji Time: 8:02 AM on Friday 25 July

/ Front page / Sport

Simunic out of World Cup, appeal rejected

AAP
Thursday, March 20, 2014

Update:2:00PM Australian-born Croatia defender Josip Simunic will miss the World Cup after FIFA rejected his appeal against a 10-match ban for pro-Nazi chants after a play-off match last November.

Football's world governing body said on Wednesday its appeals committee "has decided to reject the appeal lodged by Croatian international Josip Simunic and to confirm the decision rendered by the FIFA disciplinary committee ... in its entirety."

Simunic was sanctioned for "a display of discriminatory behaviour" after Croatia's World Cup qualifying play-off against Iceland in Zagreb on November 19, which Croatia won 2-0 to secure their place in Brazil.

The 35-year-old shouted "za dom" - Croatian for "for the homeland" - four times.

In response, fans chanted "spremni", meaning "ready".

The chant was used by Croatia's World War II Ustase regime, allied to Nazi Germany, which killed hundreds of thousands of Serbs, Jews, anti-fascist Croatians, Roma and others in concentration camps.

In December, FIFA's disciplinary committee had ruled the salute was "discriminatory" and decided to suspend Simunic for 10 official matches, beginning at the World Cup in Brazil.

The Dinamo Zagreb captain was also banned from even entering the stadium for those 10 matches and fined 25,000 euros ($A38,000).

Croatian prosecutors have also fined Simunic 3,200 euros ($A5,000) for inciting racial hatred, maintaining the player was aware that the chant symbolised the official salute of Croatia's totalitarian wartime regime.

Simunic, who was born to Croatian immigrant parents in the Australian capital Canberra, said at the time he was motivated solely by "love of my people (Croatian) and homeland".

"The thought that anyone could associate me with any form of hatred or violence terrifies me," he said.


Fiji Times Front Page Thumbnail

Kaila Front Page ThumbnailFiji Times & Kaila Frontpage PDF Downloads

Use the free Acrobat Reader to view.

Today's Most Read Stories

  1. Warning for teachers
  2. Groenewald: Brutality video under investigation
  3. Spotlight on mums
  4. Sevens schedule revealed
  5. Indiana Bollywood to entertain crowd on Indian night
  6. Doubts cleared
  7. A unique singing style at awards
  8. Excitement builds for semi-finals
  9. School remembers founder, celebrates principles
  10. Star talent

Top Stories this Week

  1. REVEALED Preachers, cops pay for sex Friday (18 Jul)
  2. Railway soldiers Monday (21 Jul)
  3. Friends, quick cash the lure into prostitution Friday (18 Jul)
  4. Playing 'enemy' Tuesday (22 Jul)
  5. No 'free education', says party Wednesday (23 Jul)
  6. 911 let-down for homeowner Monday (21 Jul)
  7. Police find tyres Monday (21 Jul)
  8. Calls for support Tuesday (22 Jul)
  9. $24,000 payout a lifeline for family Tuesday (22 Jul)
  10. $70m plan Wednesday (23 Jul)