You might not know this, but there were actually two football games played in Russia yesterday, July 7.
Yup, England’s triumph wasn’t the only victory that took place, as Croatia squared up against Russia and, after a tense penalty shoot-out, knocked the hosts out of the tournament.
And, just as we’ve seen other players do, a few of the Croatian guys took to social media to celebrate their success and progression to the semi-finals. However, this latest celebration landed the player in hot water with FIFA.
Domagoj Vida, the Croatian defender who scored for his country in the penalty shoot-out versus Russia, filmed himself with scout Ognjen Vukojevic celebrating in the dressing room after the match.
The video shows the pair sitting together after the match, when Vida shouts ‘Glory to Ukraine’, which, according to The Sun, is the chant of the Ukrainian army and the nationalist cause that is opposed to Russian territorial claims on the country.
Vukojevic, who played for Croatia in the 2014 World Cup and earned 55 caps in his international career, can then be heard saying ‘This victory is for Dynamo (Kiev) and for Ukraine’.
After being made aware of the footage, FIFA launched an investigation into the video.
According to FIFA’s disciplinary code, political slogans are not allowed, while Section 54 states that: ‘Anyone who provokes the general public during a match will be suspended for two matches and sanctioned with a minimum fine of CHF 5,000 (£3,800).’
Fortunately for Vida, FIFA let him off with a warning.
A spokesperson for FIFA said:
We can confirm that FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee has sent a warning to the player Domagoj Vida due to his video statement following the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Russia and Croatia.
Vida also responded to video, 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.
Vida joined the Ukrainian club Dynamo Kyiv in January 2013, and helped the team win their first Ukrainian Premier League title in six years after scoring the winning goal against Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk in May, 2015.
He made his first full international debut for Croatia in 2010, and has since appeared for his country 63 times.
Vida should perhaps take a leaf out of the England squad’s book, as they seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to having fun on social media.
Harry Maguire, the man who put England ahead of Sweden in the first half with an absolute belter of header from another set piece, took to Twitter for a tongue in cheek but spot on tweet.
He captioned it:
Sliding into the Semi Finals like…
And pictured it:
Sliding into the Semi Finals like… ???????❤️ pic.twitter.com/RF3XbMT9K4
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) July 7, 2018
On the other hand, team mate Kyle Walker couldn’t help but have a friendly joke about a candid shot of Maguire.
Yeah so a good header doesn’t hurt. I mean the moment you head it proper, you feel it’s a good one. Know what I mean love?
Yeah so a good header doesn’t hurt. I mean the moment you head it proper, you feel it’s a good one. Know what I mean love? pic.twitter.com/a5b8UqDjv2
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) July 7, 2018
Luckily, Maguire saw the funny side, and FIFA did not have to intervene.
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Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.