CAS dismiss Simunic appeal against 10-match ban

The Croatia international was hit with the ban after Fifa found him guilty of using discriminatory words and he has now had his appeal against the suspension dismissed

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has dismissed Josip Simunic's appeal against a 10-match ban for discriminatory behaviour, meaning the Croatia international will sit out this summer's World Cup.

The 36-year-old was hit with the suspension after using a slogan associated with the Ustase, the pro-Nazi Croatian regime that ruled the state during World War II, while addressing his compatriots after his country's play-off victory over Iceland in Zagreb in November.

Fifa found Simunic guilty of offending the dignity of a group of persons by using discriminatory words but he challenged the ruling.

However, the CAS has now upheld the decision to ban the Dinamo Zagreb defender for 10 games and fine him 30,000 Swiss francs.

A CAS statement read: "The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has rejected the appeal filed by the Croatian football player Josip Simunic against the decision of the Fifa Appeal Committee issued on February 21, 2014.

"The CAS confirmed the sanction imposed by Fifa against the player, who remains suspended for 10 official matches, the first of which has to be served during the final competition of the 2014 Fifa World Cup, banned from entering the confines of the stadiums for those 10 matches and also fined CHF 30,000 (£19,950).

"On April 9, 2014, Josip Simunic filed an appeal with the CAS and requested that the sanctions be cancelled or, alternatively, be stayed for a probation period of one year.

"The player stated that he did not have the intention to offend or discriminate anyone but that he wanted to share his patriotic emotions with the fans after such an important success.

"The parties were heard at a hearing which took place at the CAS offices on May 8, 2014.

"The CAS arbitrators in charge of this matter unanimously rejected the arguments of the player and dismissed his appeal.

"They confirmed that the expression used by Simunic was a clear and unequivocal reference to the call used by the Ustase and that such expression has to be sanctioned in accordance with Article 58 para. 1 of the Fifa Disciplinary Code. Accordingly, the CAS Panel confirmed the Fifa decision which was appealed against."