CROATIAN FA chiefs made a last-minute plea for Celtic defender Jozo Simunovic to change his mind over his decision to switch nationalities to Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 22-year-old defender shocked Balkan football by announcing he will now play for Bosnia and Herzegovina, after becoming frustrated at a lack of opportunities from Croatia, who he has played for at all levels up to Under-21.

Simunovic complained: “I was first called up for the Croatian team two years ago.

“I’ve been waiting for another call for the past two years and I have had enough. I can’t wait to play for Bosnia, where my parents and grandparents are from.”

That’s led to huge criticism in Croatia and their FA’s executive director, Damir Vrbanovic, revealed they tried to get ex-Dinamo Zagreb star Simunovic to reverse his decision.

He said: “We knew about his choice. We spoke with his parents and we also talked to him. But Jozo insisted he wanted to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

“There was nothing we could do to change his decision. He is angry with us because he hasn’t been picked. But as far as we are concerned there is no drama. The choice was his and he decided to play for Bosnia and Herzegovina and any attempt we made to get him to change his mind had no influence on him.

“The point is we will not interfere in the decision of our coaches. There was no point making empty promises to him about being included in the future because we cannot guarantee that.”