DOHA ( Associated Press) – FIFA opened a disciplinary case against Croatia on Tuesday for fans chanting against a Canadian goalkeeper who has family ties to Serbia during a World Cup match between the two teams in Qatar.
The Croatian federation’s file is due to “the behavior of its fans”, world football’s governing body said, citing rules on anti-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 split the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.
Borjan’s family fled their hometown in 1995, when it was taken over by the Croatian Army, amid stories that ethnic Serbs fled on tractors.
During a 4-1 defeat of Canada on Sunday, Croatian fans unfurled the flag of tractor maker John Deere and changed the brand’s slogan to Borjan’s.
Borjan moved with his family to Canada as a child and chose to represent that country in football, although he plays for the historic Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.
FIFA did not say when it would render its decision on the matter, which would normally result in fines to the federation.
Croatian federation spokesman Tomislav Pacak did not comment on the specific case, but said that the body “always condemns any kind of racism, any kind of discrimination and we ask fans and everyone not to behave like that”. They say”.
In its first disciplinary decision of the tournament, FIFA fined the German FA 10,000 Swiss francs ($10,500) for failing to appear at a player’s mandatory press conference on the eve of the Group E match against Spain.
Coach Hansi Flick appeared alone before the press in Doha on Saturday, in violation of World Cup rules.