World Cup: Croatia’s Vida, Vukojevic Apologizes for Statements After Win

Croatia's Domagoj Vida celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the quarterfinal match between Russia and Croatia at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Fisht Stadium, in Sochi, Russia, Saturday, July 7, 2018. (AP Photo/Manu Fernandez)

Croatian footballer Domagoj Vida and national teams coaching staff assistant Ognjen Vukojevic have apologised for their statements after the victory over Russia in the FIFA World Cup quarterfinal match in Sochi, the Croatian Football Federation (CFF) announced on Monday.

In a video footage, recorded after the match in the locker rooms of the Croatian team and later circulated on social networks, Vida said ‘Glory to Ukraine,” while Vukojevic added that he dedicated the victory over Russia to people in Ukraine, reports Tass news agency.

“The Croatian Football Federation would like to emphasize that the aforementioned messages were merely a response to numerous messages of support received from Ukraine during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, considering the deep impact Vida and Vukojevic had in Ukraine when playing for powerhouse Dynamo Kiev,” the CFF said in a statement.

Vida played for Dynamo Kiev FC between 2013 and 2018, while Vukojevic played for the Ukrainian football club in 2008-2015.

“Nonetheless, Croatian Football Federation has pointed out to both Vida and Vukojevic as well as all other internationals to refrain from any messages that could be politically interpreted in the future,” the statement added.