FIFA has officially announced suspensions that will affect four men from three countries at this summer’s World Cup – including a potentially damaging one for Croatian striker Mario Mandžukić.
Three of the suspensions, including the one for Mandžukić (pictured), are carry-over disciplinary measures from World Cup qualifiers, for receiving red cards. Those are one-game suspensions to be served on their teams’ opening World Cup contest.
The other two one-game suspensions are for Colombia’s Fredy Gaurin and Iran’s Sosha Makani.
The fourth suspension, to Croatia’s Josip Simunic, will span the entire World Cup. He was handed a 10-game ban for making a political, inappropriate gesture during a qualifier match between Croatia and Iceland in Zagreb, Croatia, last November.
The most meaningful from a competition standpoint are for Colombia’s Guarín and for Mandžukić. Gaurin, a midfielder for Italy’s Inter Milan, has 48 international caps and could well have been in the lineup for his country’s June 14 tournament opener against Greece in Belo Horizonte.
Mandžukić is among the talented, hard-working stars currently helping Bayern Munich dash away with the Bundesliga title. Croatia certainly could have used him in its opening match, which also happens to be the tournament’s opening match, in Sao Paulo against the hosts and tourney co-favorites, Brazil.