FIFA confirm Mandžukić is out of opening World Cup match against SeleçãoBrazil given boost
It was confirmed earlier today that Brazil definitely wouldn't be facing two important Croatian players in the opening match of the 2014 World Cup.
Mario Mandžukić and Josip Šimunić have been banned by FIFA for one match and ten matches respectively.
Šimunić was handed a lengthy ban towards the end of last year after he led a pro-Nazi chant with Croatia fans after there play-off win over Iceland.
And today it was confirmed that he and Mandžukić, who was banned for one match by FIFA's committee board, will therefore by unavailable for the opening match against Brazil.
Unless Šimunić appeals his ban he won't be going to the World Cup. In addition to these two players having there bans confirmed two other footballers will miss their countries opening matches.
Fredy Guarín will miss Colombia's fixture against Greece whilst Iran goalkeeper Sosha Makani is banned for his team's opener against Nigeria.
This is all subject to Makani, Guarín and Mandžukić being selected by there various countries but it is assumed they will be.
It is a boost for the Seleção as the Bayern Munich forward is a crucial player for Croatia but they would have been expected to defeat Niko Kovač team's regardless of whether Mandžukić played or not.