ZAGREB, October 29, 2019 – The Croatian Premier League team Rijeka FC on Monday asked for and was given an official statement from President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović regarding her statement about the club’s status in the 1980s in which she said that at the time Rijeka was more of a reserve club for the Serbian Partizan and Crvena Zvezda football clubs, which drew many negative comments.
“The purpose of the then political influence on our club’s management was to constantly tie Rijeka with Belgrade. The Rijeka that I followed as a supporter in my school days is not the Rijeka we have today. The most talented Croatian players like Zoran Šestan at the time sat on the bench while some others, less talented but politically more suitable were given an opportunity. It was in that context that I described the then Rijeka football club as a reserve club. I know well what the status of Rijeka in the 1980s was and no one can convince me otherwise,” the president said.
Grabar-Kitarović also responded to Primorje-Gorski Kotar Deputy County Prefect Marko Boras Mandić who strongly criticised her statement about Rijeka being a reserve Serbian club.
“Armada (Rijeka supporters’ club) has always been a symbol of the Croatian Rijeka, of the spite and resistance to hegemonistic policies. I have always supported and will support my Rijeka, my football club… the Rijeka Football Club believes that our club has always belonged to its supporters, its city, region, Croatia and all those who have it in its heart,” she said, among other things.
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