Serbian soccer player held at gunpoint after missed penalty

Thursday February 26th, 2015

A soccer player in Serbia was held at gunpoint in his team's locker room Monday, two days after missing a penalty, according to FIFPro.

Zarko Udovicic, a left back for top-flight club Novi Pazar, sent a penalty kick over the crossbar in the 85th minute of a game against FK Rad on Saturday. Pazar lost the game, 1-0.


Udovicic left the club due to concerns about his safety, FIFPro said. 

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"What worries me is that there is no reaction from the football association. They remain quiet," Mirko Poledica, the president of Serbia's players' union, said. "They must do something to guarantee the safety of the players. But they don't. Next time a player could be murdered. Must we wait until some hooligan actually kills one of our football players."

Poledica said no Serbian fan has ever been prosecuted for violence against a player and that players are "living in fear."

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In October, a Euro 2016 qualifier between Serbia and Albania in Belgrade was abandoned after a fan flew a drone carrying an Albanian nationalist banner onto the pitch, sparking a massive brawlPlayers fought among themselves and also against fans who invaded the pitch. Fans threw objects at the players as they exited the field. 

- Dan Gartland

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