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Croatia fined for fans’ xenophobic chants

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FIFA issued a fine against Croatia on Wednesday for the abusive behaviour of their fans toward Canada’s goalie Milan Borjan during the World Cup quarterfinals.

“in relation to the behaviour of Croatian supporters at Croatia vs Canada FIFA World Cup match on 27 November,” the announcement read. The fine was levied after a disciplinary investigation and amounted to 50,000 Swiss francs (50,674 euros, $53,000).

Borjan, an ethnic Serb born in Croatia but fled as a child, was verbally harassed by Croatian fans in Doha.

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Some waved banners commemorating the 1995 military operation that ended the battle for Croatian independence.

More than 200,000 ethnic Serbs fled the nation during and after the operation, and Borjan’s family was among them.

This punishment for Croatia comes just 48 hours before their quarterfinal match with Brazil.

The Serbian federation was fined 20,000 Swiss francs for displaying a contentious flag portraying Kosovo in the team’s dressing area before their group-stage match against Brazil.

Photos showing a variation of the Serbian flag with a map including Kosovo as part of the country and imprinted with the words “there will be no surrender” prompted a protest from the Kosovo football federation (FFK).

Despite Belgrade’s refusal to recognise Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, the majority-Albanian former Yugoslav province announced its independence in 2008.

In a third incident, the Saudi Arabian federation was fined 30,000 Swiss francs because six players were booked during matches against Argentina and Mexico.

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