Veteran Australian-born Croatian international Josip Šimunić has hit back at Croatia’s President Ivo Josipović after he publicly stated that nationalistic fans were keeping him away from attending national team matches…
“Going to a game where there is a risk of nationalism, racism and incidents, the President would be sending out the wrong message. I really love and respect our national football team and I am happy when they win. I will be more than happy to attend matches once Mr.Šuker and the Croatian Football Federation fulfils their promise they made to me in sorting out the organisation and making it comfortable for everyone to come to the stadiums,” Josipović said earlier this week, prompting the Dinamo Zagreb captain to hit back in a letter.
Here is Šimunić’s open letter to the President which was posted on the ‘Support Josip Šimunić’ Facebook fan page, which has over 160,000 fans.
Why is it uncomfortable for you the President of the Republic of Croatia to come to the stadium?
Is it because of the patriotic chants “U boj, u boj” and “Za dom”, or are you uncomfortable because the Croatian flag was burnt, in the presence of the now former Minister of Science, Education and Sport, Željko Jovanović?
Did he send the wrong message when he went to the Serbia – Croatia match in Belgrade on 6.9.2013?
Why did you, President of the Republic of Croatia, not specifically deal with incidents such as the already mentioned burning of the Croatian flag in Belgrade at the ‘Marakana’ stadium, and the insults toward Croatian players and fans, and the insulting banners and chants?
Why did you not react to the incident in Vukovar during the European Junior Basketball Championships, or the incident when the leader of the ‘Vukovar Gravediggers’, and members of Vukovar police damaged the team bus of GNK Dinamo when the side came for a memorial tournament in the honour of General Blago Zadro?
Will you react to last nights chants by Serb fans at the Serbia – Albania match – ‘Ubij Hrvata da šiptar nema brata’ (Kill Croats so the (Albanians) have no brothers)?