SportsCroatian football analyst sparks controversy with racial remarks on air

Croatian football analyst sparks controversy with racial remarks on air

Josko Jelicić is a football expert in Croatia
Josko Jelicić is a football expert in Croatia
Images source: © Youtube | Podcast Incubator
Sebastian Szczytkowski

24 June 2024 20:32

The Croatian national team has not achieved favourable results in the first two matches of the Euro 2024 group stage. Former footballer Josko Jelicić sought deep reasons behind their struggles, prompting some viewers to accuse him of making racist remarks on-air.

Josko Jelicić was a midfielder who played in two matches for the Croatian national team. In his club career, he was affiliated with two well-known teams in his homeland: Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split. Additionally, he tried his luck in Spain with Sevilla FC and also played for Pohang Steelers in South Korea.

Over 20 years after ending his professional sports career, Josko Jelicić remains involved in football. During Euro 2024, he appeared as an expert on the Croatian television station HRT.

Josko Jelicić tried to find the cause of the Croatian national team's problems. These issues became evident in the 0-3 loss to Spain and the 2-2 draw with Albania. His analysis went beyond the form of individual players or tactical aspects, delving into the structure of society in Croatia.

Who is fast in Spain? Yamal and Williams. I won't even mention the French. In Belgium? Doku. Who is supposed to race against them? We have our own genetics and we don’t have the children of immigrants in our team. We were not a colonial power - Josko Jelicić explained.

The former footballer also noted that many Nepalese are currently coming to Croatia.

According to data from the Croatian Employers' Association, in two years there will be 400 thousand Nepalese in the country. We won't gain any speed, and additionally, we'll lose in terms of jumping ability - Jelicić added.

The words about Nepalese, especially the short stature of people born there, did not sit well with some viewers. The former footballer was accused of racism, and the television station distanced itself from Josko Jelicić's opinions.

The views expressed by Josko Jelicić in our programme are by no means the views of HRT - the station declared.
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