MOSCOW: Croatia suspended striker Nikola Kalinic from his FIFA World Cup team on Monday after refusing to stand as a substitute during the 2-0 victory over Nigeria in a clash from Group D in Kaliningrad on Saturday, head coach Zlatko Dalic confirmed.
According to his coaching staff, Croatian coach Zlatko Dalic decided to exclude Nikola Kalinic, who leaves Croatia's base camp in Roshchino on Monday and returns to Croatia, the Croatian soccer federation said in a statement.
"During the match with Nigeria, Kalinic was getting warmer and he was supposed to appear in the second half, but then he said he was not ready to come because of a problem back," the coach said. Said
"The same thing happened during Brazil's friendly in England, as well as before the practice session on Sunday, I accepted it calmly, and as I need my players to be in shape and ready to play, I have made this decision. "Dalic explained.
Dalic, wil However, I can not name a replacement.
According to media reports, the 30-year-old AC Milan attacker refused to come for forward Mario Mandzukic in the 85th minute. Instead, young Marko Pjaca replaced Mandzukic, who played his role in both goals.
Kalinic played 41 international matches, scoring 15 goals since his debut in 2008.
The second challenge of the Croatian World Cup is scheduled for June 21 against Argentina in Nizhny Novgorod.