World Cup: Croatia's Josip Simunic denies pro-Nazi chant in wake of Iceland victory

Josip Simunic: Croatia international insists he was only supporting his country

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Croatia defender Josip Simunic has fiercely denied chanting a pro-Nazi slogan in the wake of his country's World Cup qualification.

The 35-year-old took the microphone in the aftermath of Tuesday's 2-0 play-off win over Iceland and addressed the crowd with a cry of: "For the people."

That phrase has links with the pro-Nazi regime which ruled Croatia during World War II, and FIFA is awaiting match reports before deciding whether to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

But in a statement released through his club Dinamo Zagreb, Simunic made it clear there was no political motivation for his actions.

Simunic rejected "any political context of my statement, which was driven solely by my love toward my people and my country, and not by hatred and destruction".

The statement added: "The thought that anyone could associate me with any form of hatred or violence terrifies me.

"I did nothing wrong. I'm supporting my Croatia, my homeland. If someone has something against it, that's their problem."