Nikola Kalinic has been sent home from Croatia’s World Cup camp after refusing to play in the match against Nigeria.
Kalinic started the game on the bench but when asked to come on for the last five minutes with his side two goals up, he refused.
Croatian media have reported that the striker complained about a back problem, and this was the reason for his refusal to play.
Speaking after Saturday’s match, coach of the side, Dalic told reporters his side had finished the 90 minutes without injuries but “with a problem”.
However, Dalic told a specially arranged news conference that Kalinic would depart Croatia’s team base in Roschino but due to recurring back spasms, as opposed to any disciplinary issue.
“During the Nigeria encounter, Kalinic was warming up and was supposed to come on in the second half,” said Dalic.
“However, he then stated that he wasn’t ready to come on due to a back issue.
“The same thing happened during the Brazil friendly in England, as well as before the practice session on Sunday.
“I have calmly accepted that and since I need my players fit and ready to play, I have made this decision.”
Next up, Croatia face Argentina.