Croatia sacks Vukojevic over Ukraine message

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Federation Internationale de Football Association later announced a $15,000 fine against Vukojevic, and a warning against Vida.

If you recall, Vukojević and Vida were the stars of a video released after Croatia's win over Russian Federation where they are heard saying "Glory to Ukraine" and "This is a victory for Dynamo and Ukraine".

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has sacked Ognjen Vukojevic after the former worldwide appeared in a social media video with Domagoj Vida and allegedly made pro-Ukraine remarks.

Earlier, NAIJ.com had reported how Croatia president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic rushed into the dressing room to celebrate with the players after their penalty win over Russian Federation.

The 29-year-old Besiktas player received a warning from Federation Internationale de Football Association, thus avoiding disqualification, and will still be able to play in their semi-final match against England on Wednesday in Moscow.

Vukojevic was appointed past year as a scout for Dynamo after a lengthy playing career, which included being part of the Croatian squad for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

Besides firing Vida, it also issued an apology for the video.

After the victory, Ognjen Vukojević and teammate Domagoj Vida, who had both previously played for Dynamo Kyiv, published a video on social media featuring the words "Glory to Ukraine!".

Vida, who scored in the match against Russia - which ended 2-2 after extra time - and netted in the resulting penalty shootout, later said of his comment in quotes reported by Russian outlet Championat: "I respect the Russian nation".

"There's no politics in football".

Vukojevic, who now works as a scout at Dynamo but is with his national team for their World Cup campaign, added: "This victory is for Dinamo and Ukraine".

"Our intention was not to offend anyone".

Vida played for Dynamo Kiev from 2013 to 2018 before moving to Besiktas in January.

"I don't want to be a burden to our team ahead of the extremely important semifinal match of the World Cup, at the moment when the most needed thing for the national team is peace", Vukojevic told Croatian state broadcaster HRT, saying he intended the video as a personal greeting to Ukrainian friends, not as a political statement.

During the group stage of the World Cup, FIFA fined three Switzerland players for making hand gestures of an "Albanian eagle" symbol to celebrate goals against Serbia and cleared them to continue playing.

The player had earlier said the message was "just a joke".

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