Bosnian soccer stars hit out at determination to play a pleasant match with Russia

Bosnia and Herzegovina will play Russia in a pleasant match in November, the nation’s Soccer Affiliation introduced on its official web site on Friday, sparking harsh criticism from Bosnia’s star gamers.

The sport is scheduled to happen in St Petersburg on 19 November, someday earlier than the World Cup in Qatar is to begin.

Russia’s nationwide groups have been barred from worldwide competitors over Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in late February.

Bosnia did not qualify for the World Cup, collaborating within the ultimate match for the primary and final time in 2014. 

The choice to play the pleasant with Russia was made by the Affiliation’s urgency committee in an emergency session on Friday, with 5 votes for and one in opposition to.

Staff captain, Inter Milan’s Edin Džeko, brazenly criticised the choice, lashing out on the thought of enjoying in opposition to Russia amidst its aggression in Ukraine.

“I’m in opposition to enjoying this match. I’m all the time and just for peace,” Džeko advised Bosnian outlet Klix. “Sadly, I’m not the one deciding on who Bosnia will play in opposition to, however my place on that is clear and it does not contain enjoying this match whereas harmless persons are being killed.”

“I stand in solidarity with the folks of Ukraine in these troublesome instances for them,” Džeko, who has gained the Premier League twice and the Bundesliga as soon as in his stellar profession, concluded.

Criticism retains pouring in

“The choice shouldn’t be good. I’m speechless,” midfielder Miralem Pjanić advised the native media. “The nationwide Soccer Affiliation [officials] know what I believe.”

The 32-year-old former Juventus and Barcelona participant has made 107 worldwide appearances since his debut in 2008. He has lately signed for Sharjah FC within the United Arab Emirates.

Goalkeeper Asmir Begović — the nation’s former No. 1 at the moment plying his commerce with Premier League’s Everton — took to Twitter, reposting a 2021 tweet criticising the Affiliation for “changing into an eBay web page to fill the pockets of criminals” with out additional feedback.

The capital Sarajevo’s mayor, Benjamina Karić, reacted to the information of the match by stating that town administration would finish its help for the Affiliation if it goes by means of with its plans to play the match in St Petersburg.

“Sarajevo, as town which has been underneath the longest siege from aggressors, and I as its mayor strongly condemn the choice by the nationwide Soccer Affiliation to play a pleasant match with Russia,” she posted on Twitter.

Sarajevo was besieged for 43 months between 1992 and 1995 through the Bosnian battle — the longest siege in trendy European historical past.

“Except the choice is reversed, we are going to stop cooperation with the Soccer Affiliation, which to this point has been fruitful.”

Poland, Sweden and the Czech Republic all mentioned they’d not play their World Cup qualifiers in opposition to Russia again in March earlier than Russia’s nationwide groups have been banned from worldwide competitors.

Soccer’s international governing physique FIFA and its European counterpart UEFA determined in February that every one Russian groups, whether or not nationwide or membership sides, could be suspended from participation in FIFA and UEFA competitions after the invasion.

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