Croatian footballer banned over pro-Nazi chants

By Darren Witcoop, December 17, 2013
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A Croatian international football player will miss next year's World Cup for his pro-Nazi chants.

Josip Simunic was handed a 10-game ban by Fifa for displaying "discriminatory behaviour" following his country's World Cup play-off win against Iceland last month.

The 35-year-old defender took to the microphone in Zagreb to shout "za dom" a phrase coined by Croatia's World War Two Ustasha regime who were allied to Nazi Germany.

But the world's governing body took a dim view following an investigation.

Simunic, who was also given a £20,700 fine, will see his lengthy suspension all but end his international career.

A Fifa statement said: "The 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.

"As a consequence, the committee agreed that this salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning, race, religion or origin."

Last updated: 9:51am, December 17 2013