Croatia defender Josip Simunic has denied he meant to promote "any form of hatred" when he celebrated Croatia's progress to the World Cup finals with fans on Tuesday night.
Simunic faces the prospect of a FIFA investigation after he began chants - that reportedly have associations with Croatia's former pro-Nazi Ustashas regime - with his home fans following the 2-0 win over Iceland in Zagreb.
– Croatia defender Josip Simunic
The thought that anyone could associate me with any form of hatred or violence terrifies me.
If anyone understood my cries differently, or negatively, I hereby want to deny they contained any political context.
They were guided exclusively by my love for my people and homeland, not hatred and destruction.