2022 World Cup: disciplinary proceedings against Croatia for xenophobia

Fifa has opened disciplinary proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation (HNS). This decision by Fifa follows the “discriminatory and xenophobic behavior of some Croatian fans during the match with Canada and because of banners with the same content”, the federation said in a press release.

Croatia eliminated Canada from the World Cup on Sunday after winning 4-1. During the game in Doha, Croatian fans shouted insults at Milan Borjan, a Croatian-born Serb who fled the country as a child. country during the 1991-95 conflict and brandished banners with similar content addressed to him.

Reference to 1995

One of them referred to a military operation by Croatian forces in 1995 which ended the war in Croatia and led to the flight of more than 200,000 Serbs from the country. Borjan’s family was among them. “Knin 95 – nothing runs like Borjan” read one of them. The text was written on a flag of American tractor producer John Deere.

The text mentions the town of Knin which was the stronghold of the Serbian rebels in Croatia, where Borjan was born, and alludes to the exodus of the Serbian population. Many fled in tractors. Borjan, whose family moved to Canada, has never hidden his Serbian origins and has been involved for several years with the Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.

Long-standing conflict

He had notably irritated many Croats by stipulating, according to some media, that he was not born in Croatia but in the Republic of Serbian Krajina, named after the short-lived entity created by the Serbian rebels on the territories of Croatia. that they controlled for a few years.

The proclamation of the independence of Croatia in 1991 provoked a conflict with the Serbs of this State who rebelled against Zagreb with the support of Serbia. Croatia, vice-world champion in 2018, is currently first in its group F which includes Morocco, Canada and Belgium. Croatia and Belgium meet on Thursday.

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