Sunday, June 15, 2003

Croatia's Water Polo Shame

Today's final game of European Water Polo Championship in Kranj, Slovenia would enter history books as the first game in which the commentator got assaulted while on-air. This happened due to Croatian water polo fans not being happy with 9:8 defeat of their national team from Serbia/Montenegro.

Cameras didn't record the incident, but Jura Ozmec, Croatian state television commentator was interrupted while delivering live audio report to regular news show. What followed was the sound of breaking and four-letter words. Cameras later showed fans brawling with Slovenian riot police.

Apparently, Serbian fans decided that it wouldn't be right for Croats to be the sole villains in this story.

However, this incident, no matter how disturbing or disgusting, had at least one good thing – Croatian prime minister Ivica Račan (Ivica Racan), state and sport officials, and even the unfortunate Mr. Ozmec, condemned the vandals. Only few years ago it would be unimaginable – they would all blame Slovenian police for not securing, Serb fans for provoking and forcing our boys to defend themselves, referee for stealing well-deserved victory for Croatian team, intense heat etc.


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