Politics spill over to soccer in Croatia, Serbia

DUSAN STOJANOVIC Associated Press Published:

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) -- The strained political relations between bitter Balkan rivals Serbia and Croatia have spilled over into soccer.

A proposal by Croatia coach Igor Stimac that acquitted generals Ante Gotovina and Mladen Markac take the honorary kickoff at the start of a World Cup qualifier between the two nations on March 22 in Zagreb was greeted with fury by Serbian soccer officials.

Serbia coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, a Serb born in Croatia, said Monday his team would boycott the match if the two are allowed on the field.