Banned Croatian international defender Josip Šimunić has spoken for the first time since the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland upheld FIFA’s 10-match ban which forced him out of the World Cup in Brazil…
“I see nothing controversial and nothing bad. For me it’s an old Croatian patriotic salute. I did nothing wrong”, the Dinamo Zagreb captain said in an interview with Hrvatski tjednik.
Šimunić, who has 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 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.
“I do not regret saying the salute at Maksimir. I am sorry that I did not chant ‘For Vukovar’. I see nothing controversial and nothing bad. For me it’s an old Croatian patriotic salute. I did nothing wrong. Even Minister (for Sport) Jovanović offered me lessons about pride and patriotism. I am grateful to him for that, but I doubt that he could teach me more than my parents,” said Šimunić, who is forced to watch Croatia in Brazil from in front of a television set.