Paul Pogba and Samuel Yves Umtiti (France) in a semifinal match of the FIFA World Cup between French national teams and Belgium

Ex-Croatia Manager in Hot Water for Hinting at French Players' African Roots

© Sputnik / Vladimir Astapkovich
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Croatia have made it to the World Cup finals and are set to clash with France on July 15 in Moscow, but they have drawn some extra attention (and criticism) for a series of scandals.

In a now-deleted Facebook post, former Croatia manager Igor Stimac wonders if anyone knows “who exactly are we playing against in the finals” and lists 13 footballers from the French squad, pointing to their African descent.

READ MORE: 'Don't Just Assume France Will Beat Croatia in World Cup Final' Twitter Buzz

Once the publication emerged on his account, Stimac came under fire on social media, with users accusing him of racism:

This adds to a string of scandals surrounding Team Croatia throughout the championship: after defeating Russia, Croatian defender Domagoj Vida was filmed yelling “Glory to Ukraine!” – an expression that was widely used by anti-Russian Ukrainian nationalists during and after the 2014 Maidan coup.

Vida later apologized, dismissing the short clip as a joke, but he received a warning from FIFA nonetheless.

Croatia’s Assistant Coach Ognjen Vukojevic, who was also seen in the video saying that the win over Russia was devoted to Ukraine and the football club Dinamo Kiev, was fired by the Croatian Football Union and received a $15,000 fine from FIFA for making a politically-charged clip.

READ MORE: Team Croatia’s Misconduct in 2018 World Cup

The final match between Croatia and France will take place at the 78,000-seat Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on July 15 at 6 p.m. local time (1500 GMT).

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racism, football, 2018 FIFA World Cup, World Cup 2018, FIFA, Africa, Croatia, France
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