FIFA has fined the Croatian football federation 50,000 Swiss francs (C$72,500) after supporters of the team verbally abused and taunted Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan during a game in World Cup.
FIFA said the accusations 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.
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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.
Borjan was 13 years old when his family moved to Canada – first Winnipeg and then Hamilton a year later. He played his club football for Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.
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The 35 year old has won 72 caps for Canada.
FIFA also fined the Serbian football federation 20,000 Swiss francs ($29,000) for a political banner about neighboring Kosovo that was displayed in the locker room before the team’s opening game against Brazil.
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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 30,000 Swiss francs ($43,500) for a “team foul” after picking up six yellow cards in games against Argentina and Mexico.
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