Legendary Croatian Club Seeks Help Over ‘Criminal Takeover’

Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic on Wednesday said the government was considering an appeal from the famous Zagreb-based football club Dinamo - which had sought his help in dealing with what it called huge pressures from various criminal elements who were planning a "violent takeover".

"We have received a letter and have asked the competent institutions to analyse it and see if there is any element that we can react specifically to," Plenkovic said.

N1 regional television reported that Dinamo recently wrote to both Prime Minister Plenkovic and President Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic, saying that Dinamo was coming under pressure from people "marked by the competent state bodies as carriers of organized crime" - and that the same people were planning to "take control of Dinamo".

"Please recognize the seriousness of possible threats to us and our employees, which could certainly lead to physical attacks as well as the liquidation of responsible people, so that certain individuals and groups can achieve their goals in the violent takeover of the club," the letter said.

They offered to meet Plenkovic and submit additional facts "all with the aim of preventing criminal activities and committing serious criminal offences that could happen in the future".

The letter mentioned no names, but the PM responded on the same day as Zoran Mamic, a former player, trainer and director, came back to the club as its new sports director, despite a court conviction.

Mamic, his brother, Zdravko, a former executive of the club, Damir Vrbanovic, a former director, and tax official Milan Pernar were convicted in a first-instance verdict on June 6 of syphoning about 116 million kunas [15.5 million euros] out of the club and defrauding the state of...

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