Following avoiding a ban by FIFA due to political comments he made in the social media, Domagoj Vida has explained there is no such thing.
FIFA warned Vida after he and Ognjen Vukojevic found themselves in a video after the quarter-final penalty shootout victory against Russia, claiming “Glory for Ukraine”.
The phrase itself has gained its popularity among Ukrainian and anti-Russian nationalists. Using such language is strictly prohibited by FIFA.
“I regret that some media representatives have interpreted our communication in such a manner,” Vida said, according to Goal.
“It was definitely no political message, but a simple thank you for all the support from Ukraine, where Vukojevic and I spent a number of years. Our intention was not to offend anyone.”
“Throughout my career, I have had team-mates from many countries and I respect them all, and just as I have many friends in Ukraine, I have a number of them in Russia – and I am proud of all of them.”
“I am happy to speak the Russian language, I enjoy Russian hospitality at the 2018 World Cup and I sincerely hope that this message will not be understood as anything else but an expression of gratitude to our friends in Ukraine for their support – not in the match against Russia, but during the entire World Cup,” Vida went on to add.