Skip to main content Text Only version of this page
BBC
Home
TV
Radio
Talk
Where I Live
A-Z Index
BBC Sport World Cup 2002

 You are in: Team Pages: Slovenia  
Front Page
Statistics
Team Pages
Features
Other News
Sports Talk
TV/Radio Coverage
Photo Galleries
Venues Guide
Matches Wallchart
World Cup Greats
History
Quiz

BBC Sport

BBC News

BBC Weather


Click on a name for more detailed team information:

Argentina
Belgium
Brazil
Cameroon
China
Costa Rica
Croatia
Denmark
Ecuador
England
France
Germany
Italy
Japan
Mexico
Nigeria
Paraguay
Poland
Portugal
Rep of Ireland
Russia
Saudi Arabia
Senegal
Slovenia
South Africa
South Korea
Spain
Sweden
Tunisia
Turkey
USA
Uruguay

Thursday, 6 June, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Nation rocked by crisis
Zlatko Zahovic addresses reporters before heading to the airport
Zahovic addresses reporters before flying out

separator
space

Slovenia is a nation in shock following the departure of star midfielder Zlatko Zahovic from the World Cup squad.

A national team whose trademark has always been unity and friendship was coming to terms with a World Cup dream that has turned in to a nightmare with only one game played.

Open Quote
I just wanted to react to false accusations by Katanec
Close Quote
Zlatko Zahovic

Slovenia are appearing at their first World Cup and must beat South Africa on Saturday if they, too, are not soon to be following Zahovic home.

The Benfica playmaker left the team base on Jeju island on Thursday afternoon and took a flight to Busan. There, he met his wife to fly back to Lisbon.

Before departure, he told journalists at the airport that his dismissal was "no problem".

He thanked his team-mates for their honesty but blamed the FA and manager Srecko Katanec for preventing him from putting his side of the story.

"I just wanted to react to false accusations by Katanec," Zahovic said.
Captain Ceh said the players were not taking sides
Ceh said the players were not taking sides

The official reason for his dismissal by the FA was that the player did not respect an agreement to keep the clash with his coach private.

Team captain Ales Ceh said the players were not taking sides in the dispute but had left the FA to make its decision.

"We didn't give any implicit support for any of the possible decisions," Ceh said.

The captain said the players would be giving their all in pursuit of success without their talisman. Other players refused to comment.

The climax of the drama came too late for the Thursday newspapers in Slovenia to react.

A poll by the national daily Dnevnik had previously found only 6.7 per cent of the nation backing Zahovic, with almost 50 per cent of voters fully supporting Katanec and 25 per cent saying the two national footballing heroes were equally to blame.

Open Quote
I borrowed money to pay for the journey to Korea just to see Katanec managing and Zahovic playing for the national team - it's a catastrophe
Close Quote
Slovenia supporter

Former team captain Darko Milanic, who quit the team after Euro 2000, told national broadcaster TVS that the Slovenian FA should have kept the dispute behind closed doors

"It would be better to shut the doors and solve the problem without publicity," Milanic said. "I know both Katanec and Zahovic very well. They have very similar characters."

Many commentators also blamed the Slovenian FA for its clumsy handling of the crisis.

Fans, too, feel betrayed. The sports daily Ekipa reported from Korea that several Slovenia supporters at the finals felt completely desperate after the clash.

"This is a shock for me," one fan said. "I borrowed money to pay for the journey to Korea just to see Katanec managing and Zahovic playing for the national team. It's a catastrophe!"


E-mail this story to a friend
RELATED STORIES
INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
TOP STORIES FROM
SLOVENIA
 TEAMS
 SLOVENIA
Full coverage:
News and
features
Lineker's verdict
Statistics pages
World Cup so far
Have Your Say
 SQUAD PROFILES
 RESULTS/REPORTS

GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0

 WATCH/LISTEN
 BBC SPORT BULLETINS
 OUR BEST AUDIO
More Audio/Video




© BBC ^ Back to top

Front Page | Statistics | Team Pages | Features | Other News | Sports Talk | TV/Radio Coverage | Photo Galleries | Venues Guide | Matches Wallchart | World Cup Greats | History | Quiz

BBC Sport >> | BBC News >> | BBC Weather >>
BBC World Service >> | BBC Radio Five Live >>
© MMII | News Sources | Privacy