Two of the national team members from the Republic of Srpska, Milica Bosnić and Teodora Gvozden, both 14, from the Banja Luka teams of Mladi Krajišnik and Feniks, respectively, were victims of ethnically-based mobbing during the 10-day preparations in early August in Sarajevo and a tournament in Slovenia in late August, said their teams in memos sent to the Basketball Federation of the Republic of Srpska.

Letters from the Banja Luka teams, acquired by the Glas Srpske, say that the players were strictly forbidden from doing the three-finger salute (raised thumb, index and middle fingers; the three fingers that Orthodox Serbians use to cross themselves) after hitting three-point shots. The national team athletes were threatened “to have their hands cut off” if they did the salute.

Apart from that, they were not allowed to cross themselves before entering the game, their cellphones were confiscated and their private text messages and correspondence were read, and on top of that, they were played a film about the alleged “Srebrenica genocide” in the bus during the trip, and there is the fact that upon returning from the tournament in Slovenia the underage Teodora Gvozden was abandoned at the border crossing in Gradiška without notifying her parents.

The author of the Feniks’ statement, the club president Darko Kosić wrote that Jasna Sliško, the coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina U-14 team, was behind the incidents.

If the allegations turn out to be true, this will be a fresh blow for basketball in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has already been shaken by the incident with the “flags” from the European Championship, and the Federation is not in a good financial position. It is clear that another incident may prove fatal for basketball in this region.

Basketball Federation of the Republic of Srpska: We Will Protect the Children!

Regarding the incident, the Basketball Federation of the Republic of Srpska announced that they would launch a request for a disciplinary action in front of the disciplinary committee of the Basketball Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as General Secretary of the Federation said to the Glas Srpske.

“We have to protect the children. That is the most important. I have notified the Board of Director of the Basketball Federation of the Republic of Srpska about the incident, we will react urgently,” pointed out Ćazić.