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World Cup 2014 — Croatian players boycott media indefinitely over nude photos

June 16, 2014, 20:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“I respect my players' opinion and I also know that you have done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one,” Croatian team’s head coach Nico Kovac says
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MOSCOW, June 16, 19:41 /ITAR-TASS/. With less than a week into the one month-long 2014 World Cup in Brazil, two Croatian players have refused to talk to media at the global championship after photos of them swimming naked in a pool were published by online media.

According to British media reports, two unnamed photographers hid behind bushes near the swimming pool at the Croatian team’s Praia do Forte training base and took pictures of players, swimming nude. The eventually published pictures featured Southampton FC defender Dejan Lovren and Lokomotiv Moscow FC defender Vedran Corluka.

Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Croatian team’s head coach Nico Kovac said he respected the players' opinion of boycotting media and asked the attending journalists "How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you?"

“I respect my players' opinion and I also know that you have done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one,” BBC quoted Kovac as saying at the press conference. “The whole world has seen the photos.”

Croatia’s former football player Kovac, who captained the national team at the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 Euro Cup, said he neither had a clue how long the boycott on media would last, nor he would try to force the players into talking to reporters again.

"I don't know whether the silence will end tomorrow or last until the end of our World Cup campaign,” the 42-year-old head coach said. “What can I do? I cannot pull them by the ears and say, 'let's go talk to media'."

Croatia began this year’s championship with the 1-3 defeat to hosts Brazil at the World Cup’s inaugural match on June 12. The team will play its next Group A matches against Cameroon on June 18 and Mexico on June 23.

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