FIFA is investigating abuse targeted at Canada's goalkeeper Milan Borjan by Croatian fans ©Getty Images

FIFA is investigating behaviour by Croatia's fans after a formal complaint by Soccer Canada following their World Cup group match at the Khalifa International Stadium in Doha.

The complaint came after Canadian goalkeeper Milan Borjan was targeted by fans because of his Serbian family heritage during Canada's 4-1 defeat in Sunday's match.

"The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has opened proceedings against the Croatia Football Federation due to the behaviour of its fans, the proceedings were opened on the basis of articles 13 and 16 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code," a FIFA statement said.

Borjan was born in an ethnic Serb region of Croatia but the family left the town during the Balkan conflict when Borjan was eight years old.

Borjan's family ultimately emigrated to Canada.

During the match, Croatian fans had displayed a banner which had been adapted from tractor manufacturer John Deere to a message in a reference to ethnic Serbs leaving Croatia on tractors.

Croatian fans were also heard chanting "Borjane ustašo," a reference to the Ustaše organisation in Croatia which supported the Nazis during the Second World War.

Borjan plays his club football for Red Star Belgrade.

His mobile phone number had also been leaked, enabling fans to send him abusive text messages.

The abuse was heightened during the second half of the match when the Croatian fans were positioned behind Borjan's goal.

"We kind of knew what he was going to go through in that game," Canadian midfielder Jonathan Osorio said.

Canada keeper Milan Borjan, left, was born in Croatia to ethnic Serbian parents ©Getty Images
Canada keeper Milan Borjan, left, was born in Croatia to ethnic Serbian parents ©Getty Images

"We told him 'we are behind you at all times'," Osorio added.

"Unfortunately there were some discriminatory things that happened in the game toward him, of course, nobody, I think, tolerates that, not in Canada.

"I hope the right thing is done by everything that has happened."

Under its own regulations, FIFA is empowered to order future matches to be played behind closed doors if a guilty verdict is returned by the investigation.

Croatia had been ordered to play their 2018 Nations Cup match against England behind closed doors after the pattern of a Swastika had been discovered on the playing field during a match against Italy.