FIFA fines Croatia following fan abuse of Canada´s Serb goalkeeper

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Croatia have been fined by FIFA after their fans targeted Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan during a World Cup group-stage match.

Born in Knin in Croatia, Borjan is an ethnic Serb who fled to Belgrade in 1995 during ‘Operation Storm’ – a Croatian offensive in its war of independence.

Borjan later moved to Canada, who he now represents at international level, though he has spent much of his club career in Serbia.

During Croatia’s 4-1 win over Canada, a flag was shown in the stands that read “Knin ’95 – nothing runs like Borjan”, while offensive chants were also reported to be aimed in his direction.

Borjan called the abuse “primitive” after the match, while FIFA announced it would be opening an investigation.

FIFA’s disciplinary proceedings concluded with the decision taken to fine the Croatian football Federation 50,000 Swiss francs.

A FIFA statement read: “The Croatian football Federation has been fined CHF 50,000 for breaches related to article 16 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code (use of words and objects to transmit a message that is not appropriate for a sports event) in relation to the behaviour of Croatian supporters during the Croatia v. Canada FIFA World Cup™ match on 27 November.”

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