Croatian head coach Zlatko Dalic has revealed that the team has sent home striker Nikola Kalinic.
Kalinic had refused to come on against Nigeria, claiming he had a back issue, and the team sent him home shortly after.
Speaking after Saturday’s match, 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. However, he then stated that he wasn’t ready to come on due to a back issue,” Dalic said.
“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 [to make] this decision.”