Posted November 20, 2013

FIFA considers action against Croatian player, fans after apparent pro-Nazi chants

Soccer
This is not the first time FIFA has investigated Croatia's fans for pro-Nazi gestures. (Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty Images)

This is not the first time FIFA has investigated Croatia’s fans for pro-Nazi gestures. (Dimitar Dilkoff/Getty Images)

FIFA said Wednesday that it’s considering disciplinary measures against Croatia defender Joe Simunic and fans of the team after they were seen celebrating with apparent pro-Nazi chants following Tuesday’s World Cup qualification.

According to a report Wednesday from the Associated Press, Simunic took a microphone to the field following Croatia’s 2-0 win over Iceland on Tuesday and shouted to the fans, “For the homeland!” to which those in the stands responded, “Ready.”

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Without context, the exchange may seem innocuous. But as the report points out, “that was the war call used by Ustashas, the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime that ruled the state during World War II when tens of thousands Jews, Serbs and others perished in concentration camps.”

The 35-year-old Australian-born Simunic defended his actions, saying it’s not his problem if others take issue with his words:

“Some people have to learn some history. I’m not afraid. I did nothing wrong. I’m supporting my Croatia, my homeland. If someone has something against it, that’s their problem.”

Allegations of pro-Nazi gestures aren’t new to the team and its fans. Two weeks ago, Croatia’s team was fined $38,000 by FIFA for “incidents,” according to the report, including a number of fans making supposed Hitler-esque “salute gestures” during a 2-1 loss to Belgium in October in Croatia’s capital of Zagreb.

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FIFA said it’s still in the information-gathering stage of the investigation:

“We are in the process of analyzing the different match officials’ reports and gathering information.”

A suspension to Simunic would potentially mean sitting out matches in Brazil at the World Cup.

Footage of the post-game exchange between Simunic and fans can be seen below:

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4 comments
Canuckman
Canuckman

This type of racist Nazi chant cannot be tolerated. I think Simunic should get a ban not only from the World Cup from for football period.It's a sickening display of hate mongering, that some Croats tryto glos over as being "patriotic". By that warped logic, goose-stepping young German Nazis in 1939, with banners a furl and drums beating, were mighty patriotic looking, indeed.

JohnF
JohnF

Nothing new, he is well known for his pro-Nazi stands. They have been putting up with his Nazi salutes for quite a while in Croatia now. If FIFA does not do anything about it it will be a shame and disregardful towards thousands of Nazi's victims in ww2 in this part of Balkans.

DSM
DSM

It appears that Simunic is the one who needs "to learn some history."  

One more reason for USA fans to be patriotic.


David5
David5

@JohnF He, and others of his ilk, have been emboldened by the IOC selecting and supporting an unrepentant fascist from Barcelona, and the rise of the frantic right across the globe.

FIFA will do nothing of substance, as it is much more important to sanction those (even though black themselves) who look crosswise at people of any shade than it is to take thugs out of the picture.