Interior minister condemns attack in Split

Photo /Vijesti/2019/02 Veljača/8 veljače/IMG-ca3030028bbb9f71bc3cd45d7df50812-V.jpg

Interior Minister Davor Bozinovic on Sunday strongly condemned the attack on three Serbian water polo players that occurred in the southern coastal city of Split on Saturday.

"We condemn the incident in the strongest terms. It is unacceptable from every aspect," Bozinovic told a press conference outside the Interior Ministry building, stressing that the police had promptly responded to the attack.

He said that Serbian athletes regularly played matches in Croatia, adding that three more Serbian clubs had played in Croatia on Saturday and one would play on Sunday. "Things should not be generalised, especially not to make an impression that Croatia is an unsafe country to host sporting events," he added.

Three players of Belgrade's Red Star Water Polo Club were attacked on the waterfront promenade in Split on Saturday afternoon. Police arrested three attackers on Sunday morning and were looking for the remaining two.

"The Croatian police will do all in their power to find and appropriately punish anyone who decides to behave like a hooligan at a sporting event, and not just at sporting events," Bozinovic said.

Asked whether the attack would be treated as an act of hooliganism or a hate crime, he said the police would decide on this together with the State Attorney's Office.

Bozinovic confirmed that Croatia had received a protest note from Serbia over the incident. 

Serbia hands in protest note

Serbia presented a protest note to Croatia on Sunday, expressing "deep concern and disappointment" over the incident.

The charge d'affaires at the Croatian Embassy in Belgrade has been summoned to the Serbian Foreign Ministry to accept a protest note over Saturday's attack on Red Star water polo players in Split, the ministry said on its website. 

Text: Hina