FIFA fines Croatia for verbal abuse and fans taunt the Canadian goalkeeper

The Croatian and Serbian football federations were fined by FIFA on Wednesday for making political statements in the Balkans at the World Cup.

FIFA fined Croatia US$53,000 after fans of the team abused and taunted Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who has Serbian family ties.

FIFA said the charges against Croatia related to “the use of words and objects to transmit messages that are inappropriate for sporting events.”

Borjan was born in the ethnic Serb region of Croatia. He and his family left their hometown in 1995 when they were taken by Croatian troops. The Serbs are said to have fled in a tractor.

During Canada’s 4–1 loss on November 27, one of the banners displayed by Croatian fans used the John Deere tractor manufacturer’s flag and changed the marketing slogan to target Borjan.

WATCH | FIFA investigates Croatia after fans taunt the Canadian goalkeeper

FIFA is investigating Croatia after fans taunted the Canadian goalkeeper

FIFA opened a disciplinary case against Croatia after taunts from the team’s fans during their World Cup match were directed at Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan. Borjan was born in the ethnic Serb region of Croatia.

The Serbian football federation was fined $21,300 for a political banner about neighboring Kosovo that was displayed in the locker room before playing Brazil in the team’s opening game.

It shows a map of Serbia that includes the territory of its former province, which has been an independent nation for nearly 15 years, and the slogan “No Surrender.”

The Kosovo football federation formally complained to FIFA about a banner hanging in the lockers of two Serbian players on November 24.

FIFA also fined Saudi Arabia $32,000 for a “team foul” after picking up six yellow cards in games against Argentina and Mexico.

Hadwin Floyd

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