World Cup 2018: Croatia Sack Coach Hours Before Semis With England

Ognjen Vukojevic has been sacked by the Croatian Football Federation for publishing a politically-charged video on social media following the penalty shootout win over Russia, just days before the World Cup semi-final against England.

Former Croatia international Vukojevic, who had been working as a coaching assistant, recorded a video with defender Domagoj Vida after the game in which both men dedicated the Croatia’s victory to Ukraine – a clear reference to the country’s long-running political conflict with Russia that centres on the disputed territory of Crimea.

In a video posted to Facebook and subsequently uploaded to YouTube, Vida shouted “Glory to Ukraine!”, a chant widely used during the 2014 revolution that drove Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych from power and since adopted by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, while Vukojevic added: “This victory is for Dynamo [Kiev] and Ukraine.”

Ognjen Vukojevic has been sacked by the Croatian Football Federation for publishing a politically-charged video on social media following the penalty shootout win over Russia, just days before the World Cup semi-final against England.

Former Croatia international Vukojevic, who had been working as a coaching assistant, recorded a video with defender Domagoj Vida after the game in which both men dedicated the Croatia’s victory to Ukraine – a clear reference to the country’s long-running political conflict with Russia that centres on the disputed territory of Crimea.

In a video posted to Facebook and subsequently uploaded to YouTube, Vida shouted “Glory to Ukraine!”, a chant widely used during the 2014 revolution that drove Ukraine’s pro-Moscow president Viktor Yanukovych from power and since adopted by Ukrainian ultra-nationalists, while Vukojevic added: “This victory is for Dynamo [Kiev] and Ukraine.”

Last year Vukojevic was appointed as a scout by Dynamo Kiev, the club where Vida spent five years before joining Turkish giants Besiktas in January. After receiving his formal warning from Fifa, Vida was quoted by Russian newspaper Sport Express as saying: “There’s no politics in football. It’s a joke for my friends from Dynamo Kiev. I love Russians and I love Ukrainians.”

Earlier in the World Cup, Xherdan Shaqiri and Granit Xhaka were fined £7,600 each for celebrating Switzerland’s 2-1 win over Serbia by making an eagle shape with their hands – a gesture associated with Albanian nationalists.

Source : Independent.co.uk