CIVIL strongly condemns the hate speech, spreading of ethnic hatred and calls for violence and death that fan groups have been continuously promoting for years. Specifically, the reason for this harsh condemnation is the incident of the fan group “Sverceri” of the “Shkupi” football club from Skopje, who together with the fan group “Bad Blue Boys” of “Dinamo Zagreb” were shouting out calls for death of members of the Serbian ethnic community, at the national arena “Todor Proeski” in Skopje (on July 26), and previously at the “Maksimir” stadium in Zagreb (on July 19, 2022).
The institutions need to urgently, decisively and at last deal with this and accordingly sanction all groups and individuals that spread hatred and call for violence – is the call that CIVIL has been continuously making for years, regardless of which side the hatred has been coming from. There is no place for hate speech in the stands!
The Director of FC “Shkupi”, Omer Bunjaku, in a statement for CIVIL Media on July 22 also condemned the hate speech and inappropriate chanting that took place in the stands during the football match between “Dinamo Zagreb” and FC “Shkupi” that was held on July 19 in Zagreb at the “Maksimir” stadium and called on the fans to cheer fairly and on dignified cheering without hate speech.
“I invite all citizens, especially our fans (“Sverceri”) to come on July 26 (Tuesday) to support us as a club, to support the football players, because, nevertheless, football is played for the audience, and I ask them to cheer fairly and in a correct manner, as is also required by UEFA. Cheering with hate speech is not nice, it does not motivate the football players to play better, on the contrary. Such cheering is bad for everyone, after all, we are all citizens of skin, blood and bones and we are all the same. We, as a club, are known for our multiethnic structure, we have football players from all ethnic communities. And once again I ask the fans not to have what happened there (in Zagreb) happen here (in Skopje)”, said Bunjaku on July 22.
However, despite the calls not to have hate speech at the stands, there still was inappropriate chanting.
CIVIL advocates for a society in which freedom, equality and justice rule, a society in which the citizens feel safe and have trust in the institutions, where safety, freedom of movement and freedom of expression are guaranteed by law and by efficient functioning of the system.