Wednesday, November 05, 2003

RIP Slavko Šajber (Slavko Sajber) 1929-2003

Those who used to follow Croatian (and former Yugoslav) sport in good old times would probably remember Slavko Šajber (Slavko Sajber), Communist-era chairman of Yugoslav Football Association whose valiant attempt to clean the cesspool of match fixing following the final day of 1985/86 season led to crisis and political brouhaha that would serve as a model for more serious stuff in years to come. Šajber's brave annulment of last day's matches made him hero for some (supporters of Hajduk Split and Red Star Belgrade) and villain for others (Partizan Belgrade and Dinamo Zagreb). Soon afterwards Šajber was subjected to incredibly vicious smear campaign in Belgrade press, with some of the articles even mentioning his Jewish origin – tiny manifestations of proto-anti-Semitism that would serve as model for similar propaganda campaigns in wars to come. Šajber's decision was finally overruled by Belgrade Associated Labour Court and Partizan Belgrade became winner of 1985/86 season.

Soon after that Šajber lost his post and the country whose soccer federation he led ceased to exist.

Šajber recently reappeared on Croatian headlines – first by being one of rare Croatian Jews to openly criticise Israel's policy towards Palestine and later for his unapologetic defence of Tito as great statesman and benefactor of Croatian people (and other peoples in former Yugoslavia).


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Deade, počivao u miru.


4:55 PM  
Anonymous Срђан said...

Јајара, за Цигане навијала.

12:12 PM  

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