Published: Mon, July 09, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Why Domagoj Vida shouted 'Glory to Ukraine' after Croatia's win over Russian Federation

Why Domagoj Vida shouted 'Glory to Ukraine' after Croatia's win over Russian Federation

Therefore when Croatian footballer Domagoj Vida chanted "Slava Ukrayini" after a match with the Russian national team on Russian soil, many were upset with the fact that Vida chose to politicise what is meant to be an apolitical sporting event.

Federation Internationale de Football Association says it is investigating a video made by a Croatia player praising Ukraine after his team beat World Cup host Russia.

Vukojevic added in the video: "This victory is for Dynamo (Kiev) and for Ukraine!". Later on Saturday night, anti-Croatian chants were heard in the centre of Moscow.

In a video posted on social media by former Croatia worldwide Vukojevic, Vida was shown shouting "Glory to Ukraine" which had angered Russian officials given the past between the two countries.

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"There's no politics in football".

"It love Russian people", Vida was quoted as saying.

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"Our intention was not to offend anyone".

The clip has gone viral in both, Russian Federation and Ukraine, with over 800,000 views on YouTube in just hours, and was widely covered in the media in both countries, reopening fresh wounds between Moscow and Kiev.

"I am happy to speak the Russian language, I enjoy Russian hospitality at the 2018 World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be understood as anything else but an expression of gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support - not in the match against Russia, but during the entire World Cup".

Vida and Vukojevic played together at Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev. Vukojevic retired in 2017 having spent seven years of his playing career in the Ukrainian capital from 2008 to 2015.

Croatia fans in Zagreb, meanwhile, erupted with joy as their side went through to the semi finals of the World Cup in what was the second straight match for both teams to be decided on a penalty shootout. During an earlier match between Switzerland and Serbia, several ethnic Albanian players on the Swiss team flashed a provocative hand signal created to inflame tensions between Serbs and Albanians.

While Vida could have seen a two-game suspension and a fine of at least 5,000 Swiss francs (4,300 euro), the Croatian defender received only a warning.

Vida's provocation is all the more surreal given that prior to the match, Croatian players including Vida were filmed in front of a large banner upon which were written the words "say no to racism".

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