Croatia’s World Cup celebration stirs Balkan tensions
Serbia’s president condemned the team’s singing of a nationalist song.
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.
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.