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Croatia goalkeeping hero Danijel Subasic has said he will continue to wear a t-shirt dedicate to his fallen friend despite a warning from FIFA.
After saving penalties in knockout shoot-out victories over Denmark and Russia, the Monaco man has been seen sporting the shirt, which has a picture of his former teammate Hrvoje Custic, during celebrations.
10 years ago, Custic, just 24 at the time, tragically died after hitting his head into a concrete wall near the sideline of the pitch following a collision during a game for NK Zadar.
Subasic sought out to never forget his friend, wearing a special shirt under his goalkeeper jersey in every game he's played since the tragedy took place.
Danijel Subasic paying his respect to his long lost friend. He wears his shirt underneath his kit every game. Class act. pic.twitter.com/Wo3iYztUnx- RGA (@Regista_EN) July 1, 2018
It was on display after he saved three penalties against Denmark, and an emotional Subasic paid tribute to Custic again after Croatia prevailed on penalties for the second straight World Cup game, booking their place in the semi-finals against England.
As per ESPN, FIFA issued a rather farcical statement on the matter last week:
"A warning has been issued for such violation as well as for the infringement of the FIFA Equipment Regulations due to the display of a personal message by the player Danijel Subasic after the end of the said match."
And though Subasic says he respects FIFA's regulations, he pledged to continue to display the personal message, as quoted by 24 Sata.
If FIFA do end up punishment then it can only be viewed as an utter disgrace. While they have a case when it comes to political symbols and the like, this is merely a player remembering his friend who died.
Meanwhile, it still remains to be seen while Subasic will be fit for Wednesday's semi-final. He played through the pain barrier in Sochi after picking up a hamstring injury in the last minute of normal time, but produced more heroics from 12 yards.
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