‘Idiot’ insults back home aimed at Novak Djokovic for supporting Croatia in World Cup semifinal

Serbia's Novak Djokovic has come in for criticism for showing support for Croatia as they prepare for their World Cup semifinal with England in Moscow. (AFP /Oli SCARFF)
Updated 10 July 2018

‘Idiot’ insults back home aimed at Novak Djokovic for supporting Croatia in World Cup semifinal

BELGRADE: Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic has come under fire for voicing support for neighbors Croatia at the World Cup, with one center right lawmaker dubbing his stance “idiotic.”
“Only idiots can support Croatia. Aren’t you ashamed Novak?,” tweeted Vladimir Djukanovic of President Aleksandar Vucic’s ruling Serbian Progressive Party.
“I am backing Croatia... I know who I would like to lift the trophy,” Serbian media quoted Djokovic as saying from Wimbledon.
Several weeks before the World Cup started Djokovic posted pictures of himself with Croatian players including midfield stars Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic to his Instagram account.

When the Croatians faced off against hosts Russia in their quarter-final many Serbs who gathered to watch in cafes in central Belgrade were backing the Russians rather than their neighbors from the former Yugoslavia.
Djukanovic, on holiday in Greece, posted a video to social media in which he indicated that “those who say ‘Nole’ (Djokovic) has called for support for Croatia make me mad” and called the star an “idiot” for his stance.
“I repeat that all those who supported Croatia against Russia are psychopaths and mad, fit for being locked up in an asylum.
“Djokovic is a national hero and I thank him — but support Croatia, how can he not be ashamed? So many Serbs from Krajina (a region in Croatia where Serbs were once the majority) backed him and yet he supports the country who drove them out...” said Djukanovic.

President Vucic meanwhile explained that “I backed Russia as that is my right. Serbia is a democratic society and everyone has the right to support whoever he wants.”
Croatia’s reward for ending Russian hopes is a Wednesday semifinal in Moscow against England.

 

 


English Premier League to restart on June 17

Updated 58 min 55 sec ago

English Premier League to restart on June 17

  • No matches have been played since Leicester’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9

LONDON: The Premier League season is set to restart on June 17, three months after it was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic, British media reported on Thursday.

No matches have been played since Leicester's 4-0 win over Aston Villa on March 9, with Liverpool just two wins away from securing the title.

Top-flight clubs voted unanimously on Wednesday to return to contact training and were meeting again on Thursday to discuss issues such as the restart date and the rebate to broadcasters.

Matches would have to be played behind closed doors, much like they have been in Germany's Bundesliga since it restarted earlier in May.

The BBC reported that the first two matches would be Aston Villa v Sheffield United and Manchester City v Arsenal. Those matches are the two games in hand.

A full fixture list would then be played on the weekend of June 19-21.

So far, 12 people have tested positive for coronavirus after 2,752 tests across the Premier League.

La Liga in Spain hopes to return from June 11, while a crucial summit between Italian football officials and the country's sports minister will be held later on Thursday.

Liverpool were 25 points clear of 2019 champions Manchester City when the Premier league was shut down, on the verge of being crowned English champions for the first time in 30 years.

Bournemouth, Aston Villa and Norwich City are in the relegation places.