Football Coach Miroslav Blažević’s Death Notice Published after Voicing Support for Serb Party

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A fake death notice for famous Croatian football coach Miroslav Blažević appeared on social networks. The unknown author wrote that Blažević passed away on Wednesday, May 15, and that the funeral would be held on Saturday, May 18, at the Mirogoj Cemetery in Zagreb. The death notice lists as bereaved family members the leader of Serbs in Croatia Milorad Pupovac and members of his Independent Democratic Serb Party (SDSS), Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and the Speaker of Croatian Parliament Gordan Jandroković, together with their derogatory “nicknames”, reports Jutarnji List on May 18, 2019.


The death notice was published on the day when SDSS released an ad for the upcoming European Parliament elections in which Blažević appears. “People used to chant about me: ‘Ćiro, you faggot!’ And now I hear you say this about Pupovac. You chanted it to me because you loved me, and I do not know why you are saying that to him. But I know I will support him. Listen to what your Ćiro has to say. All people are equal,” says Blažević in the video. Ćiro is Blažević’s popular nickname.

The legendary football coach, who was the manager of Croatian national team at the 1998 World Cup in France, where Croatia won third place, received the news about his “sudden death” in a coffee shop together with journalist Robert Zuber, who was interviewing him for a new episode of the “Re: vision” show. Jutarnji List and Al Jazeera Balkans produce the show, and the topic of this episode is the European elections.

“During the recording, one acquaintance showed Blažević the death notice, and you could see on his face he did not take it lightly. Still, we continued filming the interview. He said he had nothing to lose and that his honour was untouched,” says Zuber.

Shortly after that, the interview was interrupted again when a passer-by showed Blažević a middle finger, which was probably also a reaction to his support for SDSS. Blažević said he knew the man in question and described him as an “extremist Croat.”

There was another interruption, but this time a more positive one. Ivan Turudić, president of the Zagreb County Court, was passing by the cafe. He saw Blažević and congratulated him on taking part in the ad.

Blažević commented on the death notice. “Son, I am dead, you are talking to a ghost,” he said laughingly and added that he would like to meet the person who made the death notice and squeeze his hand. He said that he was not sorry about the decision to film the video.

“Many people did not understand my message, which is, in the first place, well-intentioned and peaceful. I expected such reactions, but I did it anyway to help the people I love the most – the young Croats for whom I hope this has opened their eyes a bit and taught them that this is the only route towards an easier life for them, but also those people who think they are on the other side,” said Blažević, adding that the message was not understood by extremist Croats, one of whom he once used to be.

In the end, he remarked that he forgave everyone who did not understand his message, including the passer-by who showed him a middle finger.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Matija Boltižar).

More news about European elections can be found in the Politics section.


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