The Croatian assistant coach has been sacked for posting a politically-charged video to social media following the penalty shootout win, meaning he will not be in the dugout for Wednesday’s semi-final clash with England.
Vukojevic, a former Croatia international, published a video in which he and defender Domagoj Vida dedicated the dramatic win to Ukraine, prompting criticism from Russian supporters.
The clip showed Vida, who scored in extra time at the Fisht Stadium, roaring “Glory to Ukraine!” while Vukojevic announced that “This victory is for Dynamo [Kiev] and Ukraine.”
“The Croatian Football Federation hereby notifies the public that Ognjen Vukojevic has been relieved of his duties as an associate of the coaching staff of the Croatian national team by decision of the management of the Croatian FA, and that he will no longer be a member of the Croatian delegation at the Fifa World Cup in Russia,” a statement read.
Fifa issued a formal warning to Vukojevic regarding his behaviour and the former midfielder reacted to his dismissal by telling Russian newspaper Sport Express:
MEANWHILE, England captain Harry Kane is drawing inspiration from the country’s 1966 World Cup heroes as the striker looks to fire his team to a surprise final appearance in Moscow.
The Tottenham forward is the tournament’s leading scorer with six goals, putting him level with Gary Lineker’s 1986 haul, ahead of Wednesday’s semi-final against Croatia.
Kane became just the third England player to hit a World Cup hat-trick in the 6-1 rout of Panama, joining Lineker and Geoff Hurst, the star of the 1966 final victory over West Germany.