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FIFA opens proceedings against Simunic

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FIFA opens proceedings against Simunic

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In this Nov. 19, 2013 file picture Croatia's defender Josip Simunic, plays the ball during a World Cup …

ZURICH (AP) -- FIFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Croatia defender Joe Simunic for leading an apparent pro-Nazi chant with fans after his team qualified for the World Cup.

Croatia's public prosecutors have already fined Simunic $4,300 for ''spreading racial hatred'' after he took up a microphone following Tuesday's playoff match against Iceland and shouted to supporters: ''For the homeland!'' The fans responded: ''Ready!''

The call was used by the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime that ruled the state during World War II.

Simunic has defended his action, saying he was driven by love for his country.

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