Monday 18 December 2017

Partizan fans' fervour makes mockery of Campbell woes

THE next time Sol Campbell shudders while remembering some of the abuse he got from Spurs fans after joining Arsenal, he should take a look at what's been happening in the Balkans this week.

Serbia play host to one of the biggest club rivalries in world football and it went into overdrive this week when former Red Star Belgrade goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic joined Partizan Belgrade on a season-long loan from Sporting Lisbon.

Stojkovic has enflamed the passions of both sets of fans to such an extent that his obituary was posted on an internet forum, prompting rumours that he has been provided with a bodyguard.

Partizan and Red Star have a bitter history and although other players in the past have played for both clubs -- Brazilian Kleverson Cleo left Red Star for Partizan last year -- Stojkovic's move has really hit a nerve.

The Serbian national 'keeper came through the youth system at Red Star and was even made an honorary member at a ceremony in June.

Although Stojkovic will probably be constantly looking over his shoulder, he at least won't have to face the wrath of tens of thousand furious Red Star fans all at once. It's been reported he insisted on a clause that allows him to miss this season's Eternal Derby clashes.

Now why didn't Sol Campbell think of that?

Irish Independent

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