FIFA has issued a formal warning to a Croatia player who praised Ukraine in a video after his team beat World Cup host Russia, according to Washington Post.
Vida and team’s coach Ognjen Vukojević posted a video, where the player chants ‘Glory to Ukraine’ and Vukojević says: “This win is for Dynamo and for Ukraine. Go, Croatia!”
The statement angered many Russian social media users amid the political tension between Russia and Ukraine.
“We can confirm that FIFA’s disciplinary committee has sent a warning to the player Domagoj Vida due to his video statement following the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Russia and Croatia,” FIFA, the sport’s international governing body, said Sunday.
Vida told the Russian newspaper Sport-Express he meant the video to be a personal message, the Washington Post reports.
“There’s no politics in football. It’s a joke for my friends from Dynamo Kiev,” he was quoted as saying. “I love Russians and I love Ukrainians.”
Tensions have been high since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Ukraine’s government accuses Russia of arming pro-Russian separatists who control part of the east of the country, and of backing up the separatist groups with Russian military forces.
As it was reported earlier, on July 7, after Croatia’s win against Russian team, Vida and team’s coach Ognjen Vukojević posted a video, where the player chants ‘Glory to Ukraine’ and Vukojević says: “This win is for Dynamo and for Ukraine. Go, Croatia!”