Josip Simunic

Josip Simunic

Because he chanted “For Home” (Za Dom) and because the public at the World Cup qualifying match against Iceland on 16 November 2013 responded “Ready!” the Croatian defender Josip Simunic will miss the World Cup after being banned for 10 matches by Fifa.
World governing body Fifa on Monday confirmed Simunic’s ban will start at the World Cup in Brazil, and also announced he will be banned from entering the stadium for any of the country’s matches.
Simunic has also been ordered to pay a fine of CHF 30,000.

A Fifa statement said: ”The committee took note that the player, together with the crowd, shouted a Croatian salute that was used during World War II by the fascist ‘Ustaše’ movement.
”As a consequence, the committee agreed that this salute was discriminatory and offended the dignity of a group of persons concerning, inter alia, race, religion or origin, in a clear breach of article 58 par. 1a) of the Fifa disciplinary code.
”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 Disciplinary Code, Article 58 – Discrimination:
1. a) Anyone who offends the dignity of a person or group of persons through contemptuous, discriminatory or denigratory words or actions concerning race, colour, language, religion or origin shall be suspended for at least five matches. Furthermore, a stadium ban and a fine of at least CHF 20,000 shall be imposed. If the perpetrator is an official, the fine shall be at least CHF 30,000.”

Now, it is a fact that even FIFA cannot deny: multitudes of Croats in Croatia and worldwide have expressed and do express that calling the chant “Za Dom Spremni” (For Home Ready) a fascist or Nazi chant discriminates against them because they, like Simunic, do not hold it as such but as an historic (pre-WWII) expression of patriotism and love for Croatia.  Indeed, even though FIFA it its 16 December 2013 media statement says it has taken into account “all of the circumstances of the case” it is blatantly clear that it had brutally disregarded the information/circumstance of that greeting not being the greeting that can only be attributed to WWII Ustashe regime in Croatia, or that Simunic had clearly stated he had not used that greeting as Ustashes had.

Here is just one example of a letter sent to FIFA or information sent several days before it made its decision to brutally punish Joe Simunic:

The origin, meaning and actual context of the «For Home» («Za dom») phrase

Historioghraphically, it is completely undoubtable that the phrase «For home» belongs to the Croatian traditional heritage and, as such, it has been very prevalent in various types of Croatian social life for several centuries. Historical sources evidence that the phrase «For home» was used in ethnological, literary, music, political, military, cultural and other forms of Croatian social life during the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. It has been applied to very differing occasions and situations; official and everyday ones. Because of all of that the phrase «For home» has become naturalised among the various generations of the widest of classes of Croatian population.
With that, the phrase «For home» has acquired very wide communication meanings. Cumulatively, it had represented the widest expression of value of social solidarity. i.e., devotion to home and homeland, but it was also used as a spontaneous and amiable everyday greeting.
The omnipresence and social desirability of the phrase “For home” and the different variations with the word home had been recognised by different social groups and political parties and movements in Croatia, which used them in their activities. For example, the largest and the most influential Croatian party of the 20th century Croatia – Croatian Peasant Party, which was of the left ideological orientation – had given its main newsletter the title “Home” (“Dom”).
The Ustashe movement, which collaborated with Nazi Germany during World War II and established a totalitarian regime in the Independent State of Croatia – NDH (1941 – 1945), used a series of contents from the Croatian traditional heritage in their original or adapted forms. Among other things they adapted the traditional phrase “For home” into their salutation “For Leader and Home!” With the ending of World War II, NDH ceased to exist and the newly established Yugoslav communist totalitarian regime mounted a cruel and thorough revenge with its representatives and its ideology. The war collaborative regimes in Slovenia and Serbia experienced the same fate.
But, the Yugoslav communist regime had during the post-war years, across the whole of Yugoslav territory, especially systematically, thoroughly and cruelly, destroyed the overall material and spiritual pre-communist civilisation and national heritage. Traditional heritage of ethnic majorities (Slovenians, Croats, Bosniaks, Serbs, Albanians, Montenegrins, Macedonians) and of some twenty ethnic minorities had in the national sense, suffered equally.
All these crimes occurred in the name of the exclusive and bigoted communist ideology. All non-communist and, to the regime undesirable persons, associations, ideas, symbols etc. were pronounced counter-revolutionaries and enemies and were neutralised through limitless aggression (via the so-called dictatorship of the proletariat).
Within the territory of Croatia everything that was not to the regime’s liking was most frequently and without any foundation pronounced fascist or Ustashe, and was exposed to destructive violence. Even distinguished Croatian communists who came into conflict with the regime were marked as Ustashe and fascists, then killed, banished or neutralised in some other ways. For example, the long-standing and most prominent Croatian communist Andrija Hebrang was arrested and killed under such circumstances. The murder most likely occurred in 1949 and the details of the murder are not known to this day, or the fate of his post mortal remains. A number of head communists in Croatia (Savka Dabcevic Kucar, Miko Tripalo and others) were completely neutralised through similar accusations at the end of 1971.
At the end of 1980’s, at the height of the Yugoslav crisis, the Serbian communist regime of the “Balkan Butcher” Slobodan Milosevic had openly called the leading communists in Croatia as Ustashe and fascists and consequently the armed aggression against Croatia commenced.
The Republic of Croatia had on 1st July 2013 become the 28th member of the European Union even though European and world professionals emphasised that Croatia was one of the most corrupt countries and had the highest debt.  The day when Croatia entered into the EU became a day of the greatest of scandals in the history of European integration, because the highest of powers in the Republic of Croatia – against the accession agreement and the European legal wealth – had passed the law which had as its aim (according to the assessment by Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission) the protection of Yugoslav communist regime’s criminals who had committed the most serious of crimes, including the liquidation of about 80 Croatian emigrants who lived in countries of the Western world.
EU had thus came face to face with the fact that most of the state and social power in the new EU member state – Republic of Croatia – is held by the administrative structures inherited from the communist Yugoslavia era.
In addition to that, the economic, political and social situation in Croatia has been worsening dramatically during the past year. The regime attacks in increasingly radical manner, with its statements and via mass mainstream media it controls, every democratic will of Croatian citizens. Just as in the communist era, every public activity in Croatia that is not under the regime’s control is being pronounced as fascist, Nazi, Ustashe and backward.
Croatian citizens are not the only ones who suffer in the face of the thrusts of such bigoted radicalism but, in spring of 2013, Judith Reisman, the distinguished American scientist, a Jew whose family suffered severely in the Holocaust, had suffered also.
Mrs Reisman visited Croatia and appeared in public in support of the internationally awarded journalist Karolina Vidovic Kristo, who is being persecuted by the regime in Croatia. Government representatives, regime’s media and scientists had, because of that support, unleashed a shameful, strong and most primitive public campaign against Mrs Reisman, disqualifying her professional and personal dignity. While at it, they also pronounced Mrs Reisman a Nazi even though they were well aware that her family had suffered horribly under the hand of the Nazi regime.
Now, half a year after Mrs Reisman, the regime in Croatia and its media and other followers, have set in motion a similar campaign against the footballer Joe Simunic because he had greeted the public after an important game of the Croatian football representation with the old Croatian salutation “For home”.
It is important to emphasise here that Simunic is a child of Croatian emigrants and was born in 1978 in Australia, where he lived, grew up and successfully played football until 1998. Then he came to play for European clubs, and alongside that, from 2001, he also plays for the Croatian representation. Only since the summer of 2011 Simunic plays for “Dinamo” club Zagreb and lives in Croatia.
So, J. Simunic spent the first 33 years of his life in a democratic Western world, playing football exceptionally successfully and forming his personality without any discriminating incidents.
In light of all of this, we truly hope that the experienced world and European football organisations will not succumb to the hysterical pressures of the regime and the motives that hide behind unfounded attacks against the outstanding world and Croatian football player J. Simunic”.  (Original text in Croatian by Prof. dr. sc. Josip Jurčević, Senior Scientific Adviser At Institute for Social Sciences Ivo Pilar, Professor of contemporary world and national historyAt Croatian Studies University of Zagreb, In Zagreb, 4th December 2013 – Translated into English by Ina Vukic)

According to Croatia’s Vecernji List the news of FIFA’s sanction against Simunic shocked many, including Simunic and the executive president of Croatian Football Federation (HNS) Damir Vrbanovic, who stated:

We are shocked at FIFA’s decision to punish Simunic…we will give every support to our representative player in his likely appeal against this decision, but we need to acknowledge that this sanction means that Simunic will not be able to play in Brazil. Although we know that Simunic did not want to offend anyone with his behaviour, FIFA has, with such a draconic measure, evidently wanted to send a strong message…

Croatia coach Niko Kovac said he was “unpleasantly surprised, shocked and disappointed” by the FIFA sanction.
“I know him (Simunic) for a long time… and I am absolutely certain that he did not want to hurt anyone in any way,” Kovac said in a statement.
Tracking back to 16 November, Simunic said that he was motivated solely by “love of my people (Croatian) and homeland”.
“The thought that anyone could associate me with any form of hatred or violence terrifies me,” he said.
“If anyone understood my cries differently, or negatively, I hereby want to deny they contained any political context.
“They were guided exclusively by my love for my people and homeland, not hatred and destruction.”

Indeed it is a terrifying world when those in whose interest it is to keep pounding on about WWII fascism as if it were alive today only to keep justifying communist crimes and delaying prosecution of the same and for other political agendas. Indeed it is a terrifying world when one sees that FIFA, an organisation supposedly determined to stamp out discrimination actually discriminates against some in order to accuse others of discrimination. FIFA would have done a much better job had it thoroughly looked into all aspects of “For Home” salutation when it comes to Croats, rather than plucking out 4 out of 200+ years of its usage as its defining meaning. As far as I see it this move by FIFA desecrates Croatian history of the greeting “Za Dom” (For Home) and no one should be permitted to define history as they please. To top it all off FIFA’s brutal sanctions against Simunic practically ends his career as player in a national representative team! A young man who had done nothing except worked hard and loved the country of his ancestors – Croatia (he was born and grew up in Australia)! Such brutality takes back to 1991 when arms embargo was imposed against Croatia at the time of Serb aggression – it was left helpless in defending her own lives!
But don’t forget, everyone: Croatia was defended in 1990’s from brutal Serb aggression by Croat veterans who wore rosary beads around their necks and greeted each other on the battle fields with “Za Dom! (For Home!)” There was no fascism then, even if some who attempt equating victim with the aggressor might try and disagree. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia: For Home – Ready! Flushing Out Communist Crimes

Josip Simunic calls out: "For Home!" Photo: Marko Lukunic/Pixsell

Josip Simunic calls out: “For Home!”
Photo: Marko Lukunic/Pixsell

On 18 November 2013 at Vukovar, on Remembrance Day for victims of homeland war, Croatian government and president experienced a profound taste of rejection by the very majority of Croatians who found themselves in Vukovar on that day and there were over 100,000 there. In fact, it can be said with confidence that the current pro and ex-communist loyal government has been on a steep down-slide of popularity during the past year with calls for its resignation echoing in many corridors and cities on a daily basis.

Those that adore the five-pointed red star, adored communism in ex-Yugoslavia, have no issues with wearing or people wearing badges with the red star in the streets, have no problems with people chanting “brotherhood and unity” (communist Yugoslavia slogan) even though that “brotherhood and unity”, that “red star”, that communism murdered more innocent people as a matter of communist policy than the pro-Nazi WWII Ustashe regime put together!

19th November 2013 came. Oh what a highly opportune moment for ex-communists and current communists at heart to once again show their ugly face that continues ignoring communist crimes!

Imagine: at the Croatia Vs Iceland, World Cup Brazil 2014 qualifying soccer match, Zagreb. Croatian team wins and secures its place for Brazil 2014 World Cup playoffs. Anyone who is into any competitive sport whatsoever would know how elating this moment of victory can be, how emotions of love, pride, devotion and belonging can take us into a spin of complete ecstasy!

Josip Simunic, Australian born defender on the Croatian national representation soccer team, took a microphone to the field after the match, evidently overjoyed, reveled and shouted gregariously: “For home!” The many thousands of fans from the stands responded loudly: “Ready!”

Oh, Josip! Didn’t you know that the pro-communist government, drowning in widespread disillusionment and rejection by the people, will label you a “Nazi”, an “Ustashe”, straight away?

Didn’t you know that the Croatian mainstream media is controlled by ex and pro-communists and is always ready to keep horrid communist crimes buried and that they would send to the world the concoction that the salute you uttered, is a Nazi/fascist salute and not a salute signifying love for Croatia as homeland?

Didn’t you know that the communist-at-heart government and president in Croatia will not budge a millimeter in order to reject to the world the notion that the salute “For Home – Ready” is a pro-Nazi salute exclusively?

So, since the government or the president will not bother explaining to the world what in fact “For Home – Ready ” stands for, because it suits their hypocritical, communist, ways not to do so, I have found this article in Dnevno news portal and translated parts of it into English.

As is the case with all good Croats, I was taught in school throughout my childhood that the greeting ‘For the home Ready!’ is a fascist salute. They teach good Croats all sorts of things. But, as luck would have it, good Croats are also raised and taught by their parents, grandmothers, grandfathers, the street, friends … Church!

So, they taught me at school that only the Ustashe saluted and greeted with “For the Home Ready” and that when I hear someone use that salutation I should know that that someone condones the evil that Ustashe perpetrated.  And that’s how they teach the children in schools today. The media that hates everything that has to do with Croatia propagate the same.

But … there’s always that but …

But I was never clear why would this salutation be considered evil. When I separate the words I see that it’s all about calling to defend the home. Ones own home because a home does not belong to strangers. If it belongs to strangers then it is not a home. Is it because they want to say that Croats do not have a right to a home? I do not know, but it seems like that to me. In these my thoughts and resistance of the notion that this salutation is evil I came across many details that have convinced me that there is no justification in forbidding someone to defend their home!

When the Croatians stopped being barbarians and embraced Christianity in the seventh century, they were very serious about it. The Croats took their Christianity so seriously that they vowed to Pope Agatho never to lead wars of conquest but only to defend themselves.

Pretty cool, huh!?

As such, Croats could be role models for the ‘civilised’ Europe whose people like the territories that belong to others…

One doesn’t need to be too clever, it’s enough to take a map of Croatia, see its shape, in order to realise that for centuries the Croats had been increasingly pulling into themselves and retreating before the bullies who wanted to gnaw the flesh from the bone…

Well, well, there are people such as Croats who are ready to defend their home. Of course, those who are bothered by the resistance and who like to take someone else’s land will employ every effort in ensuring that no one says he/she is ready to defend his/her home. Words have power. If the Croats say they are ready to defend their home that will become a part of their identity. It will become part of them. Then it becomes difficult to attack someone who is willing to die for his/her home. The tactics used by such people are to make even the mere mention of defence repugnant to Croats. When they hit, no one would defend because, through their education programs and the media, they have convinced the Croats that the one who defends himself is actually a criminal.

Of course, once you say that you are ready to defend your home, your family, your neighbours, friends, brothers, sisters … they will say that you are Ustasha. End of discussion. Because, well, the Ustashe were using that term. I don’t want to get into the Ustasha and Partisans issues here, I dream of the day when historians add up all the victims and bow to all the victims. Regardless of whose victims, we should pay tribute to the victims. A victim is a victim. It is certainly wrong to consider some victims more worth than others or to uplift one victim while ridiculing the other. You need to stand up and admit that Croats existed before and after World War II… It was then when two devils struggled against each other to own the kind and simple Croatian spirit. Each wanted to alienate and destroy the Croatian people and plant the seeds of discord, which still lasts.

I remember how much shouting and screaming there was when (at the time of secession from communist Yugoslavia) Croatia got its new flag, which contained its historic crest. Then there were many who claimed that it was the Ustasha emblem… Also, I remember when Croatia introduced the Kuna currency; it was accused of being Ustasha currency! We all know that Ustashe did not develop the Croatian coat of arms and the Kuna but that these are historical parts of Croatian national identity. Perhaps it’s time to remove the label of evil from the very noble salutation such as is ‘For Home!’.  Ustashe did not invent this salutation; they only took it from the rich Croatian history (centuries before them). Just as the Partisans and the Ustashe ate bread during WWII, so we eat it now. It would be wrong if someone complained that I was a Partisan or Ustasha while I’m eating a sandwich, because I’m eating it. Such a person would really need to be sent for (medical) observation. Because that’s not normal.

Oh yes, one more thing … in all this digging and researching I discovered that the Ustashe had the salutation “To Poglavnik (Leader) and home – ready”. So when you remove ‘Poglavnik/Leader” from the salutation you are left with the historic Croatian salutation to that what the Croats promised Pope Agatho when accepting Christianity as their main determinant.

…The fact is that in all my life I had no idea about these details I speak of, which I have discovered. It just goes to show how strong is anti-Croat propaganda and how the Croats are taught that it is not good to defend your home.

I personally think that law should prohibit the use of any form of five-pointed star in any colour because it is a satanic symbol. Such a star has not brought good to any nation. However, the carriers of the satanic symbol are very well connected and networked so that whenever someone mentions ‘For Home” they’re ready to lodge complaints with some authority or other. Fortunately, the salutation ‘For Home – Ready” is not illegal in Croatia. This is corroborated by court decisions, which have found that ‘For Home, ready’ is a historical Croatian greeting/salutation.

So, next time you hear that someone greets you with the words ‘For home!” be ready to reply – ‘Ready!’ because that means that you remember well the promises that proud Croat grandparents gave to Pope Agatho and, with that, everything that such a greeting carries in its original form. Of course, Croatian enemies won’t like this, but the Croats should be proud of it. For home! – By Elvis Duspara/Nacija

To put it in Josip Simunic’s words: “Some people have to learn some history. I’m not afraid. I did nothing wrong. I’m supporting my Croatia, my homeland. If someone has something against it, that’s their problem.”

To endure the hateful fate encountered at the hands of former and current communists, who keep on justifying the unjustifiable, one must truly be strong! One must shout “For Home – Ready” from the rooftops until such a time when communist crimes are brought to justice and condemned with same force as Nazi crimes have been. There is simply no other way to peace and tolerance. It’s inherent in human nature not to tolerate double-standards especially when it comes to crimes against humanity. Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps. (Syd)

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013 Photo: Getty Images

Croatia Vs Iceland 19 November 2013
Photo: Getty Images

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