Croatia's Simunic banned for World Cup

The Sports NetworkDecember 16, 2013 

Croatia defender Josip Simunic will take no part in the 2014 World Cup after he received a 10-match ban from FIFA on Monday for "discriminatory behavior."

The 35-year-old was punished by the sport's governing body after he made controversial chants following Croatia's World Cup qualifying playoff win over Iceland in November.

Simunic used a microphone to address the crowd after the match, shouting a Croatian salute that was used during World War II by a pro-Nazi movement in the country.

FIFA's Disciplinary Committee decided that the salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning race, religion or origin, in a clear breach of article 58 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code.

And as a consequence decided to ban Simunic for 10 games, with the first matches being served during the World Cup.

Depending on how far Croatia advances in the tournament, Simunic will serve the remainder of his ban in the team's subsequent official matches.

Croatia will open the 2014 World Cup against Brazil on June 12, but will do so without Simunic, who has earned 105 caps since making his debut in 2001.

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