Croatia Sack Coach Ognjen Vukojevic Over 'Glory To Ukraine' Video

When Croatia played Russia on Saturday night everyone was on the edge of their seats - it was a tense, nail-biting game. And spirits were high afterwards, for Croatia that is.

So high in fact that coach Ognjen Vukojevic and Croatian defender, Domagoj Vida, published a 'glory to Ukraine' video on to social media following the win.

Domagoj Vida celebrating his goal. Credit: PA
Domagoj Vida celebrating his goal. Credit: PA

According to the MailOnline, their actions were criticised by Russian politicians and led to a warning from FIFA's disciplinary committee.

And now Vukojevic has been stripped of his accreditation and relieved of his duties.

Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remained undesirable after Russia's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country.

Ognjen Vukojevic and Domagoj Vida. Credit: PA
Ognjen Vukojevic and Domagoj Vida. Credit: PA

Croatia's Football Federation (HNS) said it has revoked Vukojevic's team accreditation at the World Cup and relieved him of his duties as an observer for the Croatia squad.

In their full statement, HNS said: "Vukojević published a controversial video on social media after the match between Croatia and Russia in the quarter-final of the FIFA World Cup. The FIFA have opened a disciplinary procedure on the matter.

"The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has decided to revoke Vukojević's team accreditation at the FIFA World Cup and to relieve him of his duties as an observer for the Croatian national team.

"HNS hereby apologizes to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation.

"Ognjen Vukojević and Domagoj Vida likewise apologize for their statements, which were in no way intended to have political connotations, yet which unfortunately left room for such interpretations."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

FIFA issued a formal warning to Vukojevic regarding his behaviour and the former midfielder reacted to his dismissal by telling Russian newspaper Sport Express: "There's no politics in football. It's a joke for my friends from Dynamo Kiev. I love Russians and I love Ukrainians."

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

Saturday's match against Russia saw the two teams battle into extra time with Vida scoring at 100 minutes with the added bonus of a salute from the nation's president, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Seconds after he was handed a yellow card when he took his top off during his celebrations.

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

They will play England in Moscow on Wednesday at 7pm.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Rebecca Shepherd

Rebecca Shepherd is a Journalist at LADbible. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire with a First Class BA in Journalism. Becky previously worked as Chief Reporter at Cavendish Press, supplying news and feature stories to national newspapers and women's magazines.

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