Croatian Football Coach Backs Serb Party in EU Elections

The former manager of the Croatian national football team, Miroslav Ciro Blazevic, has surprised and shocked many in Croatia by appearing in a video made for the European elections by the Independent Democratic Serbian Party, SDSS, a party representing Croatia's Serbian minority.

Although he is a long-time member of the ruling centre-right Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, Blazevic said he had decided to support the SDSS because he felt "annoyed by this anomaly that divides us," he told Radio Free Europe.

"Once everyone shouted: 'Ciro pederu!' ["Blazevic faggot!" - said after he made a tactical mistake in a game], and now I hear you all saying the same to [Croatian Serb leader Milorad] Pupovac," Blazevic says in the video.

"You shouted that to me because you love me, and I don't know why you're telling [that] to him. But I know I'll support him… All people are equal," he concluded.

The former manager of the Croatian team that won a bronze at the 1998 World Cup in France has been an HDZ member since the 1990s.

Before the video was released, Blazevic told the press that he did not care about any negative comments he drew.

HDZ leader Prime Andrej Minister Plenkovic has sounded supportive so far. "Ciro is great … Everything is good," he remarked.

But not everyone took it in good heart. Some angry Facebook users posted a false obituary reporting Blazevic's death, which announced that he had died on May 15 and his funeral was set on May 18. Many users thought it real.

The clue is only visible at the bottom of the obituary, where it reads: "In Mourning: Milorad Pupovac with membership of the SDSS, Andrej Plenkovic, Gordan Jandrokovic [speaker of parliament]".

The ex-manager has been angered by nationalist insults aimed...

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