A number of sporting and cultural personalities turned out for the official premiere of the film ‘Moja voljena Hrvatska’ – a film about retired Croatian football international Joe Šimunić – in Zagreb last night…
‘Moja voljena Hrvatska’ (My beloved Croatia), which is directed by Jakov Sedlar, is a 1 hour and 7 minute film about patriotism, identity through sport, and pressure on Croatian sport and its role in promoting Croatia around the world. Šimunić plays the main role in the film.
“If I don’t tell my story, then someone else will tell my story,” said the former Hertha Berlin and Dinamo Zagreb defender, who career was ended by a 10-match FIFA ban.
Šimunić, who represented Croatia 105 times, was suspended by football’s world governing body FIFA for 10 matches back in 2013 for what FIFA declared was ‘discriminatory behaviour’ when he chanted ‘Za Dom’ to the crowd during post-match celebrations after Croatia beat Iceland 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. Šimunić is currently in the process of trying to clear his name with the International Court of Human Rights.