Vida and Vukojević quotes
Photo by: Drago Sopta/HNS
Croatian Football Federation reacts on the interpretation of the Domagoj Vida and Ognjen Vukojević quotes following the match against Russia and the FIFA warning for both.
Following the 2018 FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia in Sochi, Croatia international Domagoj Vida and coaching staff assistant Ognjen Vukojević have sent messages on social media intended for their friends in Ukraine - where they had spent a significant part of their careers. FIFA Disciplinary Committee has decided to issue a warning, based on Article 4/2 and 5/4 of the Regulations of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Croatian Football Federation would like to emphasize that the aforementioned messages were merely a response to numerous messages of support received from Ukraine during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, considering the deep impact Vida and Vukojević had in Ukraine when playing for powerhouse Dynamo Kyiv. Nonetheless, Croatian Football Federation has pointed out to both Vida and Vukojević, as well as all other internationals, to refrain from any messages that could be politically interpreted in the future.
"I regret that some media representatives have interpreted our communication in such a manner. It was definitely no political message, but a simple thank you for all the support from Ukraine, where Vukojević and I spent a number of years. Our intention was not to offend anyone. Throughout my career, I have had teammates from many countries and I respect them all, and just as I have many friends in Ukraine, I have a number of them in Russia - and I am proud of all of them. I am happy to speak Russian language, I enjoy Russian hospitality at the 2018 FIFA World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be understood as anything else but an expression of gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support - not in the match against Russia, but during the entire World Cup", said Vida.
The lack of political implication and any offensive significance is also confirmed by a long-term friendly relationship between Croatian Football Federation and Russian Football Federation, that will continue to be nurtured in the future.
Finally, Croatian Football Federation and Croatia national football team fully support the principles of the fight against any form of intolerance in football, and mixing politics with sport.
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