It was supposed to be a nice event, a get-together of a group of like-minded people in early summer on a Dalmatian island, a celebration of the football club they’ve loved for their entire lives. It was never supposed to attract any national attention, let alone a swift reaction by the Supetar mayor, Ivana Marković.
The Torcida Cup is an amateur futsal tournament, in which fans of the Hajduk football club participate (the supporters of Hajduk call themselves Torcida, thus the name of the cup).
After the games were played at the Supetar football field in the centre of town, an incident occurred: 5 seasonal workers that are working on Brač, four men and a woman, were attacked sometime late in the evening, as they were walking home after their shifts. They passed the Torcida Supetar headquarters, and the attackers heard that two of the workers spoke differently then they would’ve liked, so they stormed out yelling “Where is the Serb?!?”, and started hitting the group.
Three of the people from the group are from Slavonia, one is from Varaždin, and one injured person from Brač stood up to the attackers, trying to save the workers who were attacked. The attackers threw punches, kicked the victims on the ground as they fell, they repeatedly hit the girl who was trying to shield her colleague. One of the victims told the Croatian media that the attack was stopped when a taxi driver started honking, after which the attackers withdrew.
The abhorrent (and criminal!) behaviour by the participants of the Torcida Cup provoked a swift and quite stringent response by the Supetar mayor, Ivana Marković, who has already made her stance against any nationalism public.
She put out a statement condemning the attack, adding that any act of violence is unacceptable, and especially if it happens just because someone belongs to a different nation or speaks a different language. She finds some solace in the fact that it has been determined that none of the attackers were from Supetar, but the fact remains that it happened there.
And to show her determination to put a stop to such violent occurences, she has decided to discontinue any donations to the Torcida Cup and to withdraw her permission for the field to be used for Torcida Cup matches, as the attackers were participants and/or visitors of the Cup. She adds that the town of Supetar can no longer support any sports events where the participants or visitors behave like this. Supetar mayor Marković added that she will try and get in contact with all of the victims if possible.
Police reported that they’ve apprehended the two suspects, one on Brač and one in Split the next morning and that they will be charged for the attack, but also in accordance with the Croatian Anti-discrimination laws, as it was determined that the motive of the attack was the nationality of the victims.