ZAGREB, Croatia (AP) — Croatia defender Josip Simunic lost his appeal at sport's highest court, ruling him out of the World Cup for leading fans in a pro-Nazi chant after a playoff win.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced Monday it upheld the 10-match ban, saying it unanimously rejected Simunic's arguments and appeal against the FIFA sanction.
Simunic's ban will start when Croatia opens the World Cup against host Brazil in Sao Paulo on June 12.
Simunic's lawyer, Davor Prtenjaca, says the FIFA ban was "based on political, not legal aspects."
Simunic invoked a World War II-era chant used by Croatia's then-puppet regime following a playoff victory against Iceland in Zagreb last November that qualified the Croatians for the tournament.