Dejan Lovren
Croatia's Dejan Lovren attends a training session.Reuters

Croatia's World Cup squad has launched a media boycott after the nude photographs of two of their players were published online.

Coach Niko Kovac stated that the players have decided not to attend any media events after their privacy was compromised while they were at the team's swimming pool.

Southampton's Dejan Lovren and Lokomotiv Moscow's Vedran Corluka were pantless at their Praia do Forte base's swimming pool when two Croat photographers, hiding in the bushes, clicked their pictures and published them.

The photos appeared in a number of newspapers in Croatia, and an angry Kovac insisted he cannot force his players to attend media conferences. The 42-year-old said he fully supports the decision of his players and the media should have acted responsibly.

"This is not only in Croatia, it is spreading throughout the world. I can't force them to be at your disposal after what you have done to them and their families.

"How would you feel if someone took naked pictures of you? They are adamant that they won't speak to you lot anymore and I don't know whether the silence will end tomorrow or last until the end of our World Cup campaign.

"I respect my players' opinion and I also know that you have done a very professional job so far but you blew it with this one. The whole world has seen the photos."

Croatia lost their World Cup opener against Brazil 3-1 in Sao Paulo, and are now set to face Cameroon in a must-win encounter in Manaus on Wednesday.

This is not the first time that the paparazzi have targeted players during a World Cup. A German tabloid sting had caused issues to the Netherlands in 1974, by sending hired women when the players were relaxing by the poolside.

The tabloid later ran a story 'Cruyff, Champagne and Naked Girls' and alleged that the Dutch players enjoyed a 'naked pool party' with local women and they have evidence of it.

The Netherlands attracted a lot of unwanted attention after the event and lost the final 2-1 to Germany. Dutch midfielder Arie Haan later explained how the whole incident affected the players before the final.

"I read the paper and we were a little surprised, a little bit confused," Haan explained. "This was the first time we were confronted with this kind of journalism.

"We changed a little bit the night before the final. Before we did not think, but afterwards we knew what it was like to be famous, to be the best. It started with the articles, then came the pressure and the stress."