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The Latest: FIFA warns Croatia player over Ukraine video

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The Latest on Sunday at the World Cup (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

FIFA says it has issued a warning to Croatia defender Domagoj Vida over a video he made praising Ukraine after his team beat Russia at the World Cup.

FIFA says in a statement that “we can confirm that FIFA’s disciplinary committee has sent a warning to the player Domagoj Vida due to his video statement following the 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Russia and Croatia.”

The video shows 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.

Tensions have been high since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.

The warning without a match sanction should mean Vida is available for Croatia’s World Cup semifinal against England in Moscow on Wednesday. He scored in extra time against Russia and was involved in the shootout Croatia won 4-3.

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3:15 p.m.

Fernando Hierro’s brief tenure as Spain’s national team coach has ended after less than a month in charge and a disappointing four-game run at the World Cup.

The Spanish federation says it wanted “to thank Fernando Hierro for his commitment and for assuming the responsibility of being in charge of the national team during some extraordinary situations.”

Hierro was promoted from sporting director to the top job two days before Spain opened the tournament against Portugal. New federation president Luis Rubiales was incensed that previous coach Julen Lopetegui had agreed to take charge at Real Madrid after the World Cup without giving the federation sufficient notice. Lopetegui was summarily fired despite a 20-game unbeaten streak that had made Spain one of the favorites coming into the tournament.

Spain drew with Portugal and Morocco and beat Iran to get out of their group, then lost to Russia on penalties in the round of 16.

The federation says Hierro has declined to return to his previous role as sporting director.

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2:50 p.m.

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.

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2:30 p.m.

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.



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