ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) Croatian media say that forward Nikola Kalinic has not accepted the silver medal his team won at the World Cup in Russia because he was sent home early in the competition.
Kalinic has reportedly said “thank you but I did not play in Russia.”
Coach Zlatko Dalic sent Kalinic home following the team’s 2-0 victory over Nigeria in their opening match.
Dalic said he wanted to use Kalinic as a substitute in the second half but the AC Milan forward, who was already warming up, told him he was not able to play because of a back problem.
Dalic said Kalinic did the same in a World Cup warmup against Brazil and during training.
Croatia lost 4-2 to France in the final.