Croatia sack assistant coach Ognjen Vukojevic over 'glory to Ukraine' message

Russia fans

"Still, I do not think that FIFA's reaction to Vida's statement was sufficient".

"The Croatian Football Federation would like to emphasize that the aforementioned messages were merely a response to numerous messages of support received from Ukraine during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, considering the deep impact Vida and Vukojevic had in Ukraine when playing for powerhouse Dynamo Kiev", the CFF said in a statement.

The HNS has since apologised for the Croatian delegation members' behaviour, and Vida also expressed regret for his words.

"The Croatian Football Federation hereby informs the public that by the decision of the leadership of the Federation, Ognjen Vukojević has been relieved of his duties as a team member and will no longer be a member of the delegation at the World Cup in Russia".

The game went on to penalties and Croatia scraped through to the semi-finals when they won 4-3.

However, Vida will still be allowed to play in Croatia's semifinal match against England on July 11.

The incident was not the first for this year's World Cup in Russian Federation.

Vukojevic and Vida made comments including "Glory to Ukraine", a phrase that has been adopted by anti-Russian nationalists, after Croatia beat the World Cup hosts on penalties to book a semi-final against England.

It wasn't immediately clear whether Vida and Vukojevic intended the video to be made public, or if it was later uploaded to YouTube by someone else.

Vida, 29, who scored in extra-time against Russian Federation and also in the penalty shootout, had earlier attempted to clarify the clip.

"There's no politics in football".

HNS, though, announced on Monday that Vukojevic has been removed from his position as an associate of the Croatia coaching staff, with his World Cup accreditation also revoked.

"Our intention was not to offend anyone". Both Vida and Vukojevic previously played for Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev, and Vukojevic is now a scout there.

Federation Internationale de Football Association has issued a formal warning to a Croatia player who praised Ukraine in a video after his team beat World Cup host Russia. Earlier, FIFA fined but did not suspend two Swiss players for celebrating goals by making a gesture in the sign of a double-headed eagle - a symbol of Albania. "Throughout my career, I have had teammates from many countries and I respect them all, and just as I have many friends in Ukraine, I have a number of them in Russian Federation - and I am proud of all of them", the defender said.

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