David Gold, owner of Birmingham City, has dismissed claims from the Croatian Football Federation that English players, and his in particular, are deliberately trying to injure Croatian internationals.
Luka Modric in action for Croatia
The charge follows an in jury to Luka Modric in the Premier League encounter between Birmingham and Spurs. Modric is out for months after suffering a broken leg. It was also against Birmingham that Eduardo was badly injured when playing for Arsenal last year. He was on the sidelines for 12 months.
England play Croatia in a World Cup qualifier next week and Croatian Football Federation president Vlatko Markovic thinks the timing of Modric’s injury is no coincidence saying:
It is terrible what has happened to us.
Maybe someone has something against us and our national team. In the past year, they [English footballers] have injured Eduardo and now the same has happened to Luka Modric.
I can only ask whether someone did it deliberately on the eve of the game with England. I can only ask myself whether it is a coincidence or not.
But his claims were laughed off by Birmingham owner Gold who said:
To suggest it’s a conspiracy, particularly by our club, is absolutely ridiculous.
I can’t see an ounce of reality about it at all – I find it nonsensical.
I was at the game and I was only a few feet away from the incident and it was a very mild entanglement.
Modric was outstanding in that game so no wonder they’re disappointed at losing him, but to say there a conspiracy is nonsense.
We should make light of it – maybe the problem is the statement has been completely lost in translation, maybe he meant to say something different.