The lawyer representing Croatian defender Joe Šimunić is still confident the 105-cap veteran will play at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil, despite FIFA’s appeal committee dismissing an appeal against a 10-match ban on Wednesday…
Šimunić was suspended by football’s world governing body FIFA for 10 matches, ordered to pay a fine of 30,000 Swiss francs (£20,700), and banned from entering the stadium for any of the country’s matches at the World Cup in Brazil for what FIFA declared was ‘discriminatory behaviour’ when he chanted ‘Za Dom’ during post-match celebrations after Croatia beat Iceland in November during their World Cup play-off match.
Šimunić’s Germany-based lawyer Davor Prtenjača, who initiated an online petition earlier this year which gathered over 285,000 supporters, told daily Jutarnji list that the fight is not over.
“On Wednesday we got FIFA’s decision, even though in it the decision was made on 21 February. The committee did not even meet, but held a telephone conference. I know exactly who from FIFA is behind this but I wont say yet. I am still optimistic that Josip will be able to play at the World Cup because we are taking this to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS),” said Prtenjača, adding that FIFA gave no explanation as to why they turned down the appeal.
“We will request from CAS that they temporally suspend FIFA’s ban and let Šimunić play until a final decision is made. There are several cases in which the CAS has already done so, it is in their code. We know of one athlete, which the CAS allowed to perform at the Olympics while their case was being resolved. Therefore, we expect Josip’s case to be the same. We have a deadline of one week to submit our case,” said Prtenjača, who expects a decision to made by CAS shortly after.