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Croatia defender Simunic banned for Nazi chants

FIFA have handed Croatia defender Josip Simunic a 10-match ban for making pro-Nazi chants, ruling him out of the 2014 World Cup.

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FIFA has banned Australian-born Croatian defender Josip Simunic for 10 games - including the entire World Cup - for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after the team's qualification.

Simunic invoked a World War II-era slogan used by Croatia's then-puppet regime following a 2-0 playoff victory against Iceland last month.

"After taking into account all of the circumstances of the case, and particularly given the gravity of the incident, the committee decided to suspend the player for 10 official matches," FIFA said in a statement.

Josip Simunic.

Josip Simunic. Photo: Getty Images

The 35-year-old player took a microphone in the stadium in Zagreb and shouted to supporters: "For the homeland!" The fans responded: "Ready!"

FIFA said on Monday the salute was "discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning ... race, religion or origin".

Simunic will miss the whole World Cup tournament in Brazil and is also barred from the stadiums where Croatia will play their next 10 games.

FIFA also fined Simunic 30,000 Swiss francs ($A37,900) and ordered the Croatia football federation to pay a fine of 70,000 Swiss francs ($A88,230).

Simunic previously defended his action, saying he was driven by love for his country.

He played for Croatia at the 2006 World Cup and famously was sent off against Australia after receiving three yellow cards.

FIFA has banned Croatia's star forward Mario Mandzukic for just one World Cup match for a red-card challenge in the playoffs.

Mandzukic will miss the tournament's opening match when Croatia play host Brazil in Sao Paulo on June 12.

FIFA says its disciplinary committee imposed the minimum sanction on Mandzukic.

FIFA disciplinary rules require bans of at least one match for "serious foul play".

The Bayern Munich forward stamped on Iceland midfielder Johann Gudmundsson's left knee in the second leg of their playoff in Zagreb.

Mandzukic had scored 10 minutes earlier to give Croatia the lead.

AP