FIFA says it is investigating a video made by a Croatia player praising Ukraine after his team beat World Cup host Russia.
The video shows Croatia defender Domagoj Vida shouting “glory to Ukraine” before the retired ex-player Ognjen Vukojevic adds “this win is for Dynamo and Ukraine … go Croatia.”
Vida and Vukojevic played together at Ukrainian club Dynamo Kiev. It wasn’t immediately clear whether they intended the video to be made public, or if it was a personal message later uploaded to YouTube by someone else.
When asked about the video, soccer’s international governing body says it “is processing the different reports of the said match as well as potential evidence concerning the matter referred to in your message. Please understand, until we have evaluated all information available, we cannot comment further.”
Tensions have been high since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Pope Francis is trying to cheer up Brazilian soccer fans after the team’s quarterfinal exit from the World Cup.
The pope, an Argentine and an avid soccer fan, noted a preponderance of Brazilian flags on display in St. Peter’s Square during his traditional Sunday blessing.
He told the crowd: “I see a lot of Brazilian flags: Have courage! There’ll be a next time.”
The five-time world champions left the World Cup empty handed after losing to Belgium in the quarterfinals, leaving only European teams contending for the title in Russia.
Francis often meets with visiting national soccer teams, has a collection of gifted jerseys and frequently promotes the value of sports particularly for young people. Argentina was eliminated from World Cup contention in the first of the knockout rounds.