Domagoj Vida might have been Croatia’s hero in last night’s match against Russia but the player faces being banned from the World Cup semi-final against England following his ‘GLORY TO UKRAINE' video; a dedication of his nation's win over Russia to Ukraine.
Vida featured in a video posted to YouTube shortly after Croatia's quarter-final penalty shoot-out victory over the competition hosts.
In the clip the Besiktas defender, who is joined by Croatian scout Ognjen Vukojevic, can be heard shouting: “Glory to Ukraine” – the chant of the country's army opposed to Russian territorial claims on the nation – and: “This victory is for Dynamo [Kiev] and for Ukraine.”
The defender went on to acknowledge a possible problem, and attempted to laugh off his earlier comments saying: “This victory is for Croatia. No politics.
“It's a joke. I've got friends there since I joined Dynamo Kyiv, I didn't mean anything else. I don't why Russian fans might not get it. I like Russian people. It was just a joke.”
The footage sparked rage in Russia on Saturday night, as television networks picked up on it and shared it with their viewers.
FIFA is been awaited to confirm whether Vida will be banned from Croatia's semi-final with England, which will be played at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Wednesday.
But a spokesman said: “FIFA is processing the different reports of the said match as well as potential evidence concerning the matter referred to.
“Please understand, until we have evaluated all information available, we cannot comment further.”
It's not clear how sternly Vida will be punished, or if he will face any punishment at all under FIFA's Section 54 rule which reads: “Anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of £3,800.”
This article was most recently revised and updated 3 years ago