"The problem is the federation": Bosnia national team midfielder refused to play for the team before the match with Ukraine
Astana midfielder Stjepan Loncar has announced the end of his international career. The 27-year-old footballer refused to play for the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina and criticized the leadership of the national federation, whose actions, in his opinion, led to the team's failure in the qualifying tournament for the 2024 European Championship.
Loncar said this in an interview with Sportske novosti, according to sportske.ba. The midfielder called for reforms in the Football Union of Bosnia and Herzegovina (NSBiH) and added that many problems around the national team are not related to sports and prevent the team from showing good results.
"I didn't talk about it in the media before, but I've finished my international career, I told the people from the association. The results in the qualifications are a consequence of what happens in the NSBiH. We know what kind of relationships there are. The guys who play have a hard time, with a lot of problems not related to football. I sincerely want out country to make the playoffs and qualify for the Euros, but in order to get the result, we first need to deal with the federation," Loncar said.
As a reminder, the national team of Bosnia and Herzegovina will play with Ukraine in the semifinals of the Euro 2024 playoffs. The match will take place on March 21. Bookmakers have already determined the winner of the confrontation.
The Bosnian press accused the Ukrainians of "dirty propaganda" aimed at their team, and former national team player Ognjen Vranjes suspected that his compatriots would not be allowed to attend the championship out of pity for the Ukrainians.
As OBOZ.UA previously reported, the President of the European Football Union (UEFA) Alexander Čeferin wished the Bosnians to reach the championship before the draw for the Euro 2024 playoffs.