The decision announced Friday by the Bosnian Football Association (NSBIH) to play a friendly match against Russia in Saint Petersburg in November has drawn criticism in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In a press release, the NSBIH specifies that this meeting will take place on November 19, on the eve of the opening of the World Cup in Qatar (November 20-December 18), which the Russian selection will not compete in, excluded from all the international competitions by FIFA and UEFA after the invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.
The mayor of Sarajevo takes a stand
“It’s not a good decision. When the selection starts to get good results, there is always something wrong.lamented one of the stars of the Bosnian team, Miralem Pjanic (107 caps), passed by Juventus and Barcelona, who is now playing in the United Arab Emirates Championship. ” I am speechless. The Federation knows my position”he added, quoted by the media sportske.ba.
Sarajevo Mayor Benjamina Karic condemned the decision and threatened to end the Bosnian capital’s cooperation with the NSBIH if the match went ahead. “We strongly condemn the decision of the Federation to play a friendly match against Russia. Sarajevo has been a city besieged by an aggressor for a long time”said Karic, referring to the Serbian siege of his city during the Bosnian war (1992-1995), in the midst of the break-up of Yugoslavia.