Croatia have sacked their assistant coach just days before they face England in the World Cup semi-finals.
They were considered the dark horses of the tournament, but they have now thrown their World Cup venture in serious doubt by sacking one of their coaches, possibly rupturing all stability.
They do have a good reason, however. Ognjen Vukojev was relieved of his duties for posting a video on social media that had political overtones.
Following their win over Russia, the coach took to social media to dedicate the victory to the Ukraine.
He said after the win: “Glory to Ukraine!” while defender Domagoj Vida said:”This victory is for Dynamo [Kiev] and Ukraine.”
This hasn’t gone down well with the country’s FA.
They the Croatia football federation released the following statement:
“The Croatian Football Federation hereby notifies the public that Ognjen Vukojevic has been relieved of his duties as an associate of the coaching staff of the Croatian national team by decision of the management of the Croatian FA, and that he will no longer be a member of the Croatian delegation at the Fifa World Cup in Russia,” a statement read.
“The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has decided to revoke Vukojevic’s team accreditation at the Fifa World Cup and to relieve him of his duties as an observer for the Croatian national team.
“HNS hereby apologizes to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation. Ognjen Vukojevic and Domagoj Vida likewise apologize for their statements, which were in no way intended to have political connotations, yet which unfortunately left room for such interpretations.”
England face Croatia on Wednesday for the semi-finals and will surely be happy to hear of this news, knowing that It might just affect the team.