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Croatia players to decide if Nikola Kalinic will receive World Cup medal

Croatia have not yet made the decision whether Nikola Kalinic will receive a medal for his participation in the World Cup.

Kalinic, the AC Milan forward, refused to enter Croatia's opening group-stage game against Nigeria on June 16 as a substitute and was subsequently sent home by coach Zlatko Dalic for his insubordination.

With Croatia advancing to the World Cup final against France on Sunday, players will receive either a gold or silver medal, but whether Kalinic receives on has not been determined.

"Let's see," director of communications Tomislav Pacak told ESPN Brasil. "The players will decide."

FIFA's 2018 World Cup regulations do not specify who should receive a medal. Article 52.8 states: "Fifty medals will be presented to each of the top three teams in the final competition, i.e. gold medals to the winners, silver medals to the runners-up and bronze medals to the team ranked third."


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Dalic said in a statement that Kalinic had been asked to enter the game in the 85th minute of the 2-0 victory but refused. Kalinic cited a back injury as the reason why he did not want to play and also as the reason why he did not train the day before the game, but Dalic implied he was using the injury as an excuse to hide his displeasure with being left out of the starting XI.

The decision meant Croatia, whose last three knockout-round games lasted 120 minutes, have had to play the tournament with 22 players instead of the usual 23.