Gjore Jovanovski; photo: telma.com.mk

Gjore Jovanovski says football in Macedonia should be forbidden

Gjore Jovanovski; photo: telma.com.mkThe manager of Rabotnicki, Gjore Jovanovski, held a press-conference yesterday in which he revealed many of the negative aspects of football in Macedonia and suggested that it would be wise to suspend football activities for five years.

“What I will say now is bad for all of us who are working in Macedonian football but I’m just being honest and speaking from my heart because it’s for the good of the game,” Jovanovski told Rabotnicki’s official website.  He added, “If you ask me, I would forbid football from being played in Macedonia over the next five years!  Why am I saying this?  You will probably agree with me that it’s a real shame when in the 21st century, you go and face a team where the temperatures in the locker room are under 0 degrees, you play on a field that is in terrible condition, and after the game, the players are not able to take a shower because there is no hot water provided by the other teams.  How can we speak of a Macedonian league with all of these problems?”

“This criticism by me is not aimed at anyone personally but rather, it is for the good of the football in Macedonia.  I’m sure there’s a way out, even from a situation like this.  All of us who are working in football, including me, will lose a lot from a such a decision to suspend football activities for five years, but if nothing gets done, things will only worsen and that will hurt the future generations.  In those five years, all the fields need to be made perfect, all the clubs should have fields just for training, every stadium needs to have floodlights, and the infrastructure and locker rooms should at least match the minimal European standards.  When all of those things are done, then we can speak about football in Macedonia.  I hope no one will take this the wrong way, but the home bathroom of Dzingo* is bigger than the locker rooms of FK Sileks in Kratovo.  No one can convince me that Shkendija, Renova, and Teteks, who share the same stadium in Tetovo, can’t afford to improve the pitch and provide hot water in the showers and better locker rooms.  No one can convince me that the municipality of Kicevo can’t provide at least basic locker rooms for FK Napredok.  I don’t even want to speak about the locker room situations in Turnovo and several other places.”

“With this statement, I’m not attacking anybody personally but rather just trying to find a way out of this situation.  The clubs’ owners must start an initiative in correlation with the Football Federation of Macedonia, the municipalities, and the government.  In such a way, I believe that many things can be achieved so the conditions for this game will be improved.  At this moment, my opinion is that the conditions for football in Macedonia are catastrophic.  There is nowhere to play, to change, or to take a shower, and I don’t even want to speak about some of the other European norms.  What I have said is nothing new, many people around the game know of these problems but someone had to say it because under these conditions, the football in Macedonia will never move forward.  All of these clubs that I have mentioned, I’m not trying to offend them in any way, rather I just want the conditions for football in Macedonia to be better.  It’s not possible for football to be profitable in the whole world except here in Macedonia.  It comes down to the owners of the clubs not having any strategy for development, all they want is to be first or win the domestic cup.  So what if you end up first or win the cup?  What will you gain from that?  You just give and give and give and get nothing back.  Except the Arena Philip II in Skopje, none of the other stadiums even meet the basic conditions!”

* Dzingo is the nickname of Ljubisav Ivanov, the owner of FK Sileks and former president of FFM.

Video of the whole press-conference by Jovanovski in Macedonian language, no subtitles:

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