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Russian boo-boys target Croatia defender Domagoj Vida in Moscow

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Croatia defender who made a video shouting anti-Putin slogan 'Glory to Ukraine' is booed in World Cup semi-final

  • Fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow booing every time Domagoj Vida on ball
  • He was criticised by Russian politicians and warned by FIFA for his actions 
  • Relations between Ukraine and Russia remain fraught after 2014 annexation

By Iain Burns For Mailonline and Afp

Published: 15:33 EDT, 11 July 2018 | Updated: 18:16 EDT, 11 July 2018

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Russian boo-boys watching tonight's semi-final have targeted the Croatia defender who shouted 'Glory to Ukraine!' in a controversial video that enraged the host nation. 

Fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow have been booing, shouting and whistling every time Domagoj Vida, 29, touches the ball.

The Russians were infuriated by Vida's involvement in a video posted on social media after Croatia defeated the hosts on penalties on Saturday. 

Former international Ognjen Vukojevic, 34, also praised Ukraine in the video and was subsequently sacked.  

His and Vida's actions were criticised by Russian politicians and led to a warning from FIFA's disciplinary committee.

'Glory to Ukraine!' was a slogan of the former Soviet republic's pro-EU revolution that toppled a Russian-backed president in 2014. 

Fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow have been booing, shouting and whistling every time Domagoj Vida, 29, touches the ball
Fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow have been booing, shouting and whistling every time Domagoj Vida, 29, touches the ball

Fans at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow have been booing, shouting and whistling every time Domagoj Vida, 29, touches the ball

Former international Ognjen Vukojevic, 34, also praised Ukraine in the video and was subsequently sacked. Pictured: Vida alongside Raheem Sterling in Moscow 
Former international Ognjen Vukojevic, 34, also praised Ukraine in the video and was subsequently sacked. Pictured: Vida alongside Raheem Sterling in Moscow 

Former international Ognjen Vukojevic, 34, also praised Ukraine in the video and was subsequently sacked. Pictured: Vida alongside Raheem Sterling in Moscow 

The revolt was condemned as illegal by Moscow and sparked a crisis in relations between the two neighbouring states. 

The Croatians apologised for Vida's involvement in the scandal.

In the video, Vida and Vukojevic - both of whom once played for Ukrainian side Dynamo Kieve - praise the Eastern European nation. 

Vukojevic said: 'This victory is for Dynamo and Ukraine,' while Vida shouted: 'Glory to Ukraine!'.  

Ognjen Vukojevic (right) comforts Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic, the team assistant has been sacked after posting a 'glory to Ukraine' video 
Ognjen Vukojevic (right) comforts Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic, the team assistant has been sacked after posting a 'glory to Ukraine' video 

Ognjen Vukojevic (right) comforts Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic, the team assistant has been sacked after posting a 'glory to Ukraine' video 

Domagoj Vida also posted the video and has since apologised after a warning from FIFA
Domagoj Vida also posted the video and has since apologised after a warning from FIFA

Domagoj Vida also posted the video and has since apologised after a warning from FIFA

Croatia overcame Russia on penalties but the controversial posts distracted from their win
Croatia overcame Russia on penalties but the controversial posts distracted from their win

Croatia overcame Russia on penalties but the controversial posts distracted from their win

Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remain fraught after the latter's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country.

War in eastern Ukraine has claimed more than 10,000 lives.

The Croatian football federation said it has revoked Vukojevic's team accreditation at the World Cup and relieved him of his duties as an observer for the Croatia squad.

'[The federation] hereby apologises to the Russian public for the actions of a member of the Croatian delegation,' it said.

It said that Vukojevic and Vida also apologised for their statements, saying they were not intended to be political messages but 'unfortunately left room for such interpretations'. 

The clip was picked up by Russian state media and drew condemnation from some officials.

'Such actions should be punished,' parliament's sports committee member Dmitry Svishchyov told the RIA Novosti state news agency.

'Political, nationalist and racist slogans are not welcome at the World Cup.'

Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remain fraught after the latter's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country. Pictured: Tanks flying the Russian flag in Ukraine in 2014 
Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remain fraught after the latter's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country. Pictured: Tanks flying the Russian flag in Ukraine in 2014 

Relations between Ukraine and World Cup hosts Russia remain fraught after the latter's 2014 annexation of the Crimean peninsula and its backing for a pro-Russian uprising in the east of the country. Pictured: Tanks flying the Russian flag in Ukraine in 2014 

A masked pro-Russian protestor stands behind a barb wire crowned barricade near the occupied regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014
A masked pro-Russian protestor stands behind a barb wire crowned barricade near the occupied regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014

A masked pro-Russian protestor stands behind a barb wire crowned barricade near the occupied regional administration building in Donetsk, Ukraine, in 2014

When Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic was asked last night if his teammate Vida regretted supporting Ukraine, an official from the national football federation intervened. 

He said: 'There is no reason for the player to comment.

'We apologise if anyone reconstructed what was said as a message of support for the Ukraine.

'We would not want to make a story out of that.'

But the safety of Croatian fans in Russia may be at even greater risk. 

Anti-Croat songs have reportedly already been sung in Moscow as Russians vent their fury at a nation that traditionally supported Ukraine against their aggressive eastern neighbours.

Russia also took Serbia's side in the Yugoslav Wars of the 1990s, during which Croatia won its independence from a Serb-controlled army. 

The furore could lead to some Russian fans backing England in the semi-final in Moscow on Thursday, analysts suggested.

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