Saturday 17 November 2018

Croatia’s World Cup celebration stirs Balkan tensions

Serbia’s president condemned the team’s singing of a nationalist song.

Croatia celebrate (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)
Croatia celebrate (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

By Associated Press Reporters

Croatia’s players have stoked ethnic tensions by celebrating their 3-0 victory against Argentina by singing a nationalist song that glorifies the Balkan country’s wartime struggle against the Serbs.

A brief clip shows defender Dejan Lovren singing the song with other players in the dressing room after Thursday’s match.

The song by a popular Croatian singer known as Thompson starts with a chant that was used by Croatia’s pro-Nazis during the Second World War.

It also mentions chasing Serb “bandits” out of Croatia — a reference to the war between the two former Yugoslav republics in the 1990s.

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Croatia beat Argentina 3-0 (Michael Sohn/AP)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said he does not understand why the Croatian players would celebrate in such a way.

He said: “If I was in their place, I would be happy with the victory. For some people, their hatred for their neighbours is more important.”

Croatia and Serbia could meet in later rounds at the World Cup.

Press Association

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