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#FootballFever | Croatia charged for World Cup fans’ taunts of Canada goalie

Published:Tuesday | November 29, 2022 | 9:21 AM
Canada's goalkeeper Milan Borjan reacts disappointed after the World Cup group F football match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, November 23, 2022. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

DOHA, Qatar (AP) — FIFA opened a disciplinary case against Croatia on Tuesday because of its fans' taunts aimed at the Canada goalkeeper who has Serbian family ties during the teams' World Cup game.

FIFA said the charge against the Croatian football federation was “due to the behaviour of its fans” and cited rules relating to discrimination and security at games.

Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan was born in an ethnic Serb region of Croatia that was part of the conflict that split the former Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

Borjan's family left their hometown in 1995 when it was taken by Croatian forces amid stories that ethnic Serbs fled on tractors.

During Canada's 4-1 loss on Sunday, one banner displayed by Croatia fans used a flag of tractor manufacturer John Deere and changed the marketing slogan to target Borjan.

Borjan moved as a child with his family to Canada and chose to represent that country in football, though he plays for the storied Serbian club Red Star Belgrade.

FIFA gave no timetable for a verdict in the case which would typically be judged with a fine for the federation.

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