The Croatian Football Federation is facing a FIFA investigation following the behaviour of their fans towards Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan during their 4-1 win over Canada on Sunday.
Borjan, who was born to Serbian parents in Yugoslavia, revealed his number was leaked before Sunday's Group F encounter resulting in him receiving thousands of vile texts from Croatian fans.
Croatian fans jeered Borjan during the game which saw his side knocked out of the World Cup.
Borjan spent his childhood in Knin, a major Serbian stronghold in Croatia until it was taken during the country’s battle for independence in 1995.
Hostilities still exist between both countries over the events that took place nearly thirty years ago.
During Sunday's clash a banner was held up by Croatian fans with a logo of popular tractor brand John Deere and the message ‘Knin 95, nothing runs like Borjan’.
Croatia fans held up this flag aimed at Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan.
"Knin 95 - Nothing runs like Borjan."
Knin is Borjan's hometown and the flag refers to the victory in the war over Serb separatists which saw Borjan and most Serbs from Croatia driven from their homes. pic.twitter.com/sH9JW9pOPD
— Sam Street (@samstreetwrites) November 27, 2022
This is a reference to 'Operation Storm', a Croatian mission 27 years ago to drive Serbian separatists from Knin, which forced the family of Borjan to flee as refugees.
Croatian supporters reportedly also chanted ‘Borjan is an Ustase’. The Ustase were a fascist organisation who murdered thousands of Serbs, Jews and Roma during World War Two.
Borjan reacts to Croatian abuse
Borjan gave his reaction to the events after the game:
“It shows how primitive people are," he said. "I have nothing to comment on that."
"They should work on themselves and their families, because they obviously have some frustration, so they come here to vent.”
In regards to the thousands of text messages he received Borjan said it reflected exactly the Crotian fans were and revealed he had not complained to the Canadian FA.
"These are children who show that they do not know what it is and how it was, that says everything about them."
The FIFA Disciplinary Committee this morning announced they had opened proceedings against the Croatian Football Federation.