“HNS was reported due to the discriminatory and xenophobic behavior of some Croatia fans at the match against Canada, as well as for the banners with the same content,” released HNS on Tuesday.
A group of Croatia fans insulted Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who has Serbian roots and who previously made statements about the Homeland War.
When Croatia won 4-1, an offensive poster appeared in the stands, accompanied by offensive shouts.
“Borjan, Ustašo” was among the chants, though special attention was drawn to a John Deere banner. In addition to “Knin 95” written on it, the company’s slogan was changed from “Nothing runs like Deere” to “Nothing runs like Borjan”. John Deere is the most famous brand of tractors in the world. This means of transport is a symbol of the mass flight of Serbs during Operation Storm, which liberated Croatia from the occupied territories in 1995. Around 200,000 Serbs left the so-called “Republic of Serbian Krajina” in August of that year, including the then 7-year-old Borjan, reports Index.hr.
Borjan reacted by showing the fans a three-finger sign or Serbian national salute. After the game, Borjan said he received several messages from ‘primitive’ Croatia fans after his phone number was leaked before the game.
“Disciplinary proceedings have been initiated due to the behavior of some of our fans. I cannot comment on individual proceedings, but HNS always condemns discrimination and racism. We have six days to respond, and the Federation will most likely make a statement, and then we will see what happens next,” said HNS spokesman Tomislav Pacak.
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