ZURICH (AP) -- Croatia defender Josip Simunic will miss the World Cup after being banned for 10 official matches for leading a pro-Nazi chant with fans after his team qualified for next year's finals in Brazil.
Simunic took a microphone following Croatia'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.
FIFA said Monday that the salute was ''discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning ... race, religion or origin.''
Simunic has also been banned for entering the stadiums where Croatia will play those 10 games. He previously defended his action, saying he was driven by love for his country.
- Sports & Recreation
- Josip Simunic