By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Crvena Zvezda mts was supposed to travel to Montenegro for an ABA League game against Buducnost Voli but the Serbian club, in the end, decided against it.
The reasoning behind it was that there are safety fears due to a somewhat complicated and heated atmosphere in Montenegro due to a recently adopted law concerning the relationship between the country and religious communities.
Crvena Zvezda didn’t board the plane earlier today (30/12) and a few hours later held a press conference to explain the decision. Club President Nebojas Covic explained that they felt there was no need to take any risks at this point in time:
“The basketball club Crvena Zvezda absolutely didn’t and doesn’t have any intention to politicize anything regarding the latest situation in Montenegro concerning the law which was adopted in quite a dynamic way. You very well know that Crvena Zvezda is, via media and its identity close to the country of Serbia – as are other sports teams – in a sense of its representativity. It’s not a big problem to conclude how much Crvena Zvezda and its participation can, in these situations, be manipulated and politicized.”
Covic reminded everybody of the incidents which have occurred during the ABA League Finals earlier this year when Zvezda and Buducnost clashed, and noted that they’ve contacted the Serbian security authorities which confirmed that there could be potential risks to the team’s safety.
“The possibility of potential incidents on a national basis directed to the players and the staff of the Belgrade club can’t be ruled out. Also, the target of potential attacks can be the sympathizers of Crvena Zvezda,” a part of the statement said.
Covic also used the example of ‘El Clasico’ which was postponed this year due to protests in Catalonia. He also noted that Crvena Zvezda would benefit from the game being played out today in a sports sense due to their schedule, and this decision has no hidden agenda.
On the other side, the Montenegrin club shared a statement by the Montenegrin authorities which insisted that there’s no risk to the game being played at the moment and that they would take all precautions to ensure Zvezda’s safety.
Both clubs were in contact with the ABA League management which, according to Covic, didn’t respond to all of Zvezda’s questions and concerns or made an official final decision regarding their request to postpone the game.
Photo Credit: KK Crvena Zvezda mts