The Football Federation of Ukraine (FFU) has offered to pay the fine of Croatian coach Ognjen Vukojevic, who was relieved of his duties after a video emerged of him shouting “Glory to Ukraine” with player Domagoj Vida.
The footage, which was filmed after Croatia’s 4-3 penalty shootout win over hosts Russia, led to world football governing body FIFA fining former Croatia international Vukojevic 15,000 Swiss francs ($15,150) for ”unsporting behavior”. Vida was let off with a warning.
The Croatia football federation subsequently removed Vukojevic from its World Cup delegation and sent the coach home, whereas Vida, who claimed the incident was a “misunderstanding,” is still available for selection for Wednesday’s World Cup semi-final against England in Moscow.
FFU president Andrey Pavelko appeared on Ukrainian broadcaster 112 wearing a Croatia shirt and scarf, and told journalists he and other federation members will offer to pay the fine and the legal costs should he decide to appeal the decision.
FIFA is currently investigating a second video in which Vida can be heard again shouting "Glory to Ukraine," before apparently hollering “Belgrade Burn," while sitting next to former Croatia international and now coaching staff member Ivica Olic.
Serbian media have suggested the player, 29, who played for Dynamo Kiev, may not be referring to the Serbian capital, but instead talking with customers at a pub in the city and instead of wishing it to burn, was in fact encouraging them to have a party.