Croatia Striker Nikola Kalinic Kicked Out Of World Cup Squad

Nikola Kalinic of ACF Fiorentina celebrates after scoring a goal during the Serie A match between ACF Fiorentina and SS Lazio at Stadio Artemio Franchi

Croatia coach, Zlatko Dalic, has sent striker Nikola Kalinic home from the World Cup after refusing to come on against Nigeria.

There is a press conference this afternoon where Dalic will discuss the situation further.

The Vatreni won their opening match on Saturday night, defeating Nigeria 2-0.

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"If Nigeria must make any good impact against Iceland come June 22 in St. Petersburg Stadium, Russia, then our technical adviser must fortify our midfield and defence to be better than what we witnessed against Croatia, " he said. The same thing happened during the Brazil friendly in England, as well as before the practice session on Sunday.

"I accepted it calmly, because I need ready and healthy players who can help their teammates". Kalinić was reportedly not satisfied with his status on the national team and according to information from Russian Federation, refused to play. After the match Dalic had referred to there being a "problem" in the camp but had refused to elaborate.

Dalic declined to answer any questions over the issue.

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Regardless of the veracity of Kalinic's claimed injury, Croatian media reported that he had been sent home specifically for his refusal to come on as a substitute, frustrated with his role outside of the starting lineup.

After the win in Kaliningrad, the Croatia manager told reporters they finished the match with "a problem", believed to be referring to the incident involving Kalinic.

The incident caps a disappointing year for Kalinic.

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The 30-year-old former Blackburn Rovers striker - who has 42 caps for his country - scored six times in 31 Serie A appearances for AC Milan this season.

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