Federation Internationale de Football Association gives insufficient response to Croatian player’s statements - Russian lawmaker

Yekaterina Shtukina  Russian government press service  TASS

Croatia's Football Federation (HNS) have sacked a member of the national team's coaching staff over a "glory to Ukraine" video posted after his side beat Russia in the World Cup quarter-final.

Croatian defender Domagoj Vida filmed a video of himself alongside a former player shouting the phrase "glory to Ukraine", which is seen as offensive toward the Russian government.

Croatia's Domagoj Vida, right, celebrates with his team-mates after scoring his side's second goal in the quarter-final victory against Russian Federation.

Both Vukojevic and the 29-year-old Vida previously played for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev.

Some Russians said they would cheer against Croatia in their first World Cup semifinal match since 1998.

FIFA, which bans political statements at World Cup matches, said Sunday it had studied the video and made a decision to issue a warning to Vida but not take any further measures.

Former Croatia global Ognjen Vukojevic has been kicked out of the World Cup semi-finalists' delegation after posting a pro-Ukraine clip that caused a political row.

The 29-year-old Besiktas player received a warning from Federation Internationale de Football Association, thus avoiding disqualification, and will still be able to play in their semi-final match against England on Wednesday in Moscow.

"I am happy to speak Russian language, I enjoy Russian hospitality at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be understood as anything else but an expression of gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support - not in the match against Russia, but during the entire World Cup", Vida said.

Vukojevic said he intended the video as a personal greeting to Ukrainian friends, not as a political statement.

Croatia's team refused to allow players Mario Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric to answer questions about the controversy at Monday's news conference.

However, Besiktas reportedly rejected the offer nearly instantly, with their own valuation of Vida's worth said to be in the region of €35m.

It was followed by Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea peninsula and a pro-Kremlin separatist war in eastern Ukraine that has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

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