Croatian football officials have come to the defense of Dejan Lovren after the Zenit St. Petersburg player was attacked by a newspaper in his homeland.
Media outlet ‘Jutarnji list’ ran a controversial opinion piece on April 23 calling Croatian international star Lovren “an a**hole from Russia” as he remains at Zenit amid the conflict with Ukraine.
The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has now demanded an apology from Jutarnji list editor-in-chief Goran Ogurlic, sharing the contents of a letter which had been sent to the media figure.
“We fully support journalistic freedom and the right to free speech of each individual,” the letter began.
“In doing so, we can also understand the need for a colorful expression with which an individual author wants to show his wit, creativity and stylistic skill.
“However, we believe that it is absolutely inappropriate, unprofessional and unethical about any individual, including Croatian football player Dejan Lovren, to write in the way that is the case in the text, in which the author insults an undoubtedly successful athlete and proven humanitarian at every human and professional level,” the letter added.