Serbia President Violates Law, May Face Imprisonment
Serbian President Boris Tadic has admitted in a district court that he violated a law banning the drinking or even toasting of alcohol in sporting events. He could face imprisonment of up to 60 days.
The anti-hooligan law states the prohibition of alcohol consumption within 5 km radius of a stadium especially during and 90 minutes after a game.
The President was caught uncorking a bottle of champagne in the VIP Lounge of the Red Star Belgrade after Serbia won over Romania last October 10, 2009 qualifying the nation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Serbia’s Football Association chief Tomislav Karadzic, Sports Minister Snezana Markovic-Samardzic and some other officials were also included in the charges.
A fine between 300 to 530 Euros may instead be given as punishment in alternate to the 60 days imprisonment.
“I take over responsibility and believe that, as every citizen, I should pay a fine or serve a sentence, whatever is the verdict,” Tadic said. He will not invoke the immunity given to high-ranking officials.
Serbia has a history for extreme violence when it comes to nationalistic pride like that felt during football games.