Lovren to miss Euro over ultimatum

Dejan Lovren (Supplied)
Dejan Lovren (Supplied)

Zagreb - Croatia coach Ante Cacic said Tuesday that Dejan Lovren will miss Euro 2016 due to the Liverpool's defender ultimatum that he be guaranteed a starting place before accepting to go to France.

"I already said when appointed as coach that the Croatia squad is above any individual. I will not give up that view for anyone," Cacic said in a statement.

"In Croatia's locker room there is no place for ultimatums, there should be respect for the Croatian jersey, teammates and coach," added Cacic, who was appointed last September.

The statement on the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) official website was issued after Cacic's visit to Britain at the weekend during which he met with Lovren.

"We spoke openly and honestly about his status in the squad, the match in Hungary and the interview in which he voiced his dissatisfaction and delivered certain ultimatums."

The row between the two started during a friendly with Hungary in March when Lovren decided to return to the substitutes' bench early when asked to warm up. That was seen as a protest for not being in the starting line-up and angered Cacic.

Earlier this month the 26-year-old defender told a local daily that if the coach did not guarantee him a spot in the starting XI, he would not go to France.

Cacic voiced hope that Lovren would "accept the decision in a mature manner and realise that even the best players put themselves in the service of the collective first and then think about themselves".

With such a view "there would be a place for him among the 'Fiery Ones' in future", he concluded in reference to the squad.

Croatia will play in Group D alongside the Czech Republic, Spain and Turkey.

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