Statement No. 7 – The Attack on Zdravko Mamić
Zdravko Mamić, official advisor to GNK Dinamo, and for many a grey eminence not only for Dinamo but for Croatian football as a whole, is once again at the centre of public attention. The reason for this is a physical assault on him in the tourist town of Bol on the island of Brač, where in a classic ambush on the evening of June 7 he was attacked by a young man, later to be identified as 22-year-old Domagoj Iveljić. Mamić and his friends came to the harbour on a yacht. From video footage aired in the Croatian media, we can see that Iveljić cowardly came to him from behind, hit him with his fist in the back of the head, and then escaped. Mamić lost consciousness and fell into the sea, but regained consciousness while in the water.
The runaway Iveljić was caught by Ivan Ivančić, a businessman who owns a hotel and restaurant in Bol. Ivančić ran after Iveljić and caught him despite being handicapped with an artificial right hip. They immediately informed the Chief of the Police Station in Supetar, Brač, Magdalena Mirić, and MUP operatives came to the scene. Iveljić was taken to Split where he was detained overnight. The Split-Dalmatia Police Administration filed a misdemeanour complaint under Article 6 of the Law on Public Order Offenses: “Whosoever acts in an expressly hostile and improper manner in a public place, offending citizens or violating their peace, shall be punished with a fine of 30 to 50 DM in a domestic currency equivalent, or imprisonment for up to 30 days.
Judge Danijel Ban charged Iveljić (for now) with a precautionary restraining order against Zdravko Mamić, since he admitted to attacking Mamić. The police also proposed a presentence investigation to the Court, while the decision on this should be made by the Misdemeanour Court within a period of 30 days, which means that the proceedings continue. According to some opinion, the qualifications of the actual misdemeanour are disputable, because according to the Law, this is considered a hate crime, and as such the offense may be qualified under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Croatia as an attempt to inflict bodily harm.
The Committee considers that such a qualification leaves ample room for state institutions to impose appropriate measures. We are dealing with a young person with no previous record, who probably attacked Mamić out of the same rage and hatred that is constantly present among Torcida (Hajduk) fans towards Mamić. Based on this, Iveljić is also a “victim” of both the overall atmosphere and of those who manipulate such young people by instilling hatred into their hearts and minds. Namely, according to information available to the Committee, the act was planned and committed in collaboration with others, while the main initiators and motivators have remained outside the scope of justice.
The Committee believes that this assault is above all the result of the social climate created by certain politicians who are patronising their fans/voters, but more so a joint unscrupulous attempt at criminalising the football management led by CFL President Davor Šuker and as of late Vice-President Zdravko Mamić – both on the part of the media and politicians together. By reversing this thesis, the football management is seen as the main culprit for the violence, hooliganism, racism, chauvinism, sexism, pyromania, and other offences at our football stadiums.
The Committee must nevertheless warn of the wider context and social threat this act of physical assault on Zdravko Mamić has as a football official. Croatia is witnessing a streak of attacks on football representatives – both physical and verbal. This is the third such assault on Zdravko Mamić.
The first was at Hajduk Stadium where (in the presence of our observers) he was attacked by former Hajduk football player, Ivo Bego. After that, Z. Mamić and his attorney Čedo Prodanović, who had come to the Court in Split for a scheduled hearing, were attacked by Torcida fans with flares in front of the Court. The attack by Torcida fans on football referee Bruno Marić using rods and clubs in a Split restaurant should also be viewed in the same context. Also, the assault by Torcida hooligans on CFL delegates against the then football selector, Niko Kovač, at the Zir gas station whereby the Secretary of the Football Federation was hit in the head with a bottle, and the remaining 5 members of the CFL delegation suffered a physical attack.
This season, we also witnessed a Torcida fan run into the field during a game, who using a firefighter’s rod tried to attack the referee and some players, but was prevented from doing so.
The CHC calls on all social instruments to strongly condemn such forms of conduct, as well as institutions of our legal state to take the required measures in accordance with the law, which will not leave even a shadow of a doubt about any possible un-objectivity in the Court’s decision. Otherwise, we may as a result of a “positive social atmosphere” in line with these negative events, witness fatal outcomes of such conduct.
For the CHC:
Ivan Zvonimir Čičak