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.
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
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.
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.
“Coffee enthusiast. Hipster-friendly social media fanatic. Certified zombie expert. Problem solver.”