Croatia striker Nikola Kalinic has left the national team’s World Cup camp with immediate effect
Reports earlier broke out that the AC Milan player refused to come on as a substitute during Croatia’s 2-0 victory over Nigeria in their World Cup opener.
However, according to Croatia head coach Zlatko Dalic, Kalinic leaves because of a back injury he suffered.
“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 says.
“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.”
Kalinic started on the bench for the fourth successive international match for Croatia.