Former Croatian international defender Josip Šimunić’s attempt to clear his name has failed after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland declined his appeal to overturn a ban made by FIFA which forced him out of the World Cup in Brazil…
Šimunić, who represented Croatia 105 times, 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 2014 World Cup in Brazil for what FIFA declared was ‘discriminatory behaviour’ when he chanted ‘Za Dom’ to the crowd during post-match celebrations after Croatia beat Iceland in November 2013 during their World Cup play-off match. FIFA accused him of neo-Nazi sympathies having directed the crowd in a chant following the game, saying that the salute was reminiscent of the salute used by the fascist movement in Croatia during World War II.
“I do not regret saying the salute at Maksimir. I see nothing controversial and nothing bad. For me it’s an old Croatian patriotic salute. I did nothing wrong,” said Šimunić, who was confident his appeal lodged with the sport’s highest court would clear his name.
Today Swiss media announced that CAS declined the Australian-born defenders appeal.