Croatian player fined for pro-Nazi chants

Croatia defender Joe Simunic (3) was fined for celebrating his country's World Cup berth with fans by using pro-Nazi chants.
Darko Bandic/AP

ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) - A Croatian soccer player has been fined $4,300 but the country's public prosecutors for pro-Nazi chants after the national team qualified for the World Cup.

Croatia reached next year's tournament in Brazil by beating Iceland 2-0 on Tuesday. After the match, Joe Simunic took a microphone on the field and shouted to fans: ''For the homeland!'' The fans responded: ''Ready!''

The call was used by the Croatian pro-Nazi puppet regime that ruled the state during World War II.

The prosecutor's office Simunic on Thursday for ''spreading racial hatred.'' It said he was aware this was the call used by the WWII regime. Simunic has defended his action, saying he was driven by love for his country.

FIFA, soccer's governing body, says it is considering disciplinary action against him.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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