Šimunić to miss World Cup after FIFA ban

Australian-born Croatia defender Josip Šimunić will miss the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil after being given a 10-match ban by FIFA for “discriminatory behaviour”.
The 35-year-old’s international career could be over, with football’s governing body punishing him for controversial chants made after Croatia qualified for next year’s World Cup with a play-off victory over Iceland in November.
Using a microphone to address fans in Zagreb, Šimunić shouted: “For the homeland”. In response to Šimunić’s call, the fans replied: “Ready!”
FIFA’s disciplinary committee met last Thursday to determine what action to take against the Dinamo Zagreb man and released a statement on Monday to confirm his punishment, adding that Šimunić’s suspension must begin at the World Cup.
The statement read: “The committee took note that the player, together with the crowd, shouted a Croatian salute that was used during World War II by the fascist ‘Ustase’ movement.
“After taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incident, the committee decided to suspend the player for ten official matches.
“The first matches of the ten-match suspension have to be served during the final competition of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.
“Depending on the stage at which the final match of the representative team of Croatia takes place in the scope of the final competition of the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil, the remaining matches of the ten-match suspension will be carried over to the representative team’s subsequent official matches.
“Moreover, the committee decided that the player will be banned from entering the confines of the stadiums with regard to the ten matches for which he is suspended.
“Finally, the committee decided to impose a fine of CHF30,000 on the player.”
Croatia play in the opening game of the 2014 World Cup, against hosts Brazil in Sao Paulo, on June 12.
Šimunić, who was born in Canberra and started his career at the Melbourne Knights before moving to Europe and opting to represent Croatia at international level, has gained 105 caps for his country since making his debut in 2001.

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