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news 18 Mar 13

Anti-Serb Rant Lands Dinamo Boss in Trouble

The President of Croatia's Dinamo football club, Zdravko Mamic, was arrested after a radio rant in which he called the sports minister 'a Serb who hates everything Croatian'.

Boris Pavelic
Zagreb

Club president Mamic was arrested for hate speech on Friday following an intemperate radio interview in which he called the ethnic Serb minister of sport a Croat-hater.

Zeljko Jovanovic "hates everything which starts with the word 'Croatian'.... You don't see a smile on his face but fangs stained with blood. He is a Serb who never worked in science or sport. He is a Croat-hater," Mamic said.

Mamic spent a night in police custody for  breaching the public order. The Zagreb County court judge released Mamic Saturday evening.

However, Mamic could be jailed for up to three years if prosecutors prove that he encouraged racial or ethnic hatred.

Meanwhile, the country's leading politician condemned his outburst. "His words are most vulgar and most primitive," President Ivo Josipovic said.

"Those words are offensive and maliciously agressive towards all Serb minority members and towards Serbs as a nation," he added, calling the speech "unacceptable for civilised and democratic society".

Since a centre-left government under Zoran Milanovic's Social Democratic Party, SDP, took power last January, and announced a renewed fight against the corruption in sports, Mamic has made a series of attacks by Mamic on minister Jovanovic.

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