By: Luka Perš
In this article, we will present to you two close international allies of the President of the European Football Association (UEFA), Aleksander Čeferin. They are the President of the Croatian Football Federation (Hrvatski nogometni savez – hereinafter referred to as HNS), Davor Šuker, and the President of the Football Association of Serbia (Fudbalski savez Srbije – hereinafter referred to as FSS), Slaviša Kokeza. They have both been severely criticised by the Croatian and Serbian public, for being linked to the Croatian and Serbian underground. They are also both members of the UEFA Executive Committee. The Norwegian media outlet Josimar revealed, among other things, that the Russians had installed Čeferin as their candidate for the President of UEFA. And all the latest revelations are making Aleksander Čeferin quite angry, which has also become obvious in a series of his interviews for Slovenian mainstream media. “This is not about the deep state, but about deep pockets,” Čeferin told Onaplus, without mentioning the fact that the Slovenian taxpayers had allocated more than ten million euros in taxpayers’ money for the “deep pockets” of the Čeferin law firm.
Lately, Aleksander Čeferin has been spending more time giving interviews for the Slovenian media, than running the UEFA – which has brought him a lot of attention, and that suits him. In return, he is, of course, criticising the current government, which suits the transitional left. “You have to be unsuccessful, obedient, and you have to have Twitter,” Čeferin told Nedeljski dnevnik.
In the following article, we will present to you the close allies of Aleksander Čeferin in UEFA. They are the President of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS), Davor Šuker, and President of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS), Slaviša Kokeza.
In one of our previous articles, we have already described the path of how Čefein managed to win the UEFA position. The success Aleksander Čeferin is considered one of the greatest international successes for Slovenia. The mainstream media and the majority of Slovenian citizens looked on his success with approval. However, he is not the sole reason for his success, as a lot of political arithmetic had to be used to win. The leading staff of the Football Association of Slovenia (Nogometna zveza Slovenije – hereinafter referred to as NZS) made sure that Čeferin was mainly supported by the presidents of the football associations from the countries of the former common state of Yugoslavia. Some time ago, Božidar Novak, an expert on the international floor, wrote on Twitter, that the decisive role was played by the political ties of the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. With this, those who know a lot about the events that happened at the time told us that the Russian energy giant Gazprom had a lot of influence when it came to getting Čeferin elected.
Josimar already hinted at Čeferin’s strong connections with the Russians in 2016, during the UEFA elections. Among other things, they described Čeferin as the Russian candidate. The President of the Russian Football Union and the Minister of Sports, Vitalij Mutko, badly wanted Čeferin’s success. Russia knew it needed a UEFA President who would not be critical of the Russia World Cup organisation in 2018. Therefore, with the help of the Scandinavians, they released information to the public, that the Swedish Football Association was the first to support Čeferin. Čeferin told the newspaper Delo that he decided to run for President of UEFA precisely because of the support of the Scandinavian countries.
The Russians Aleksander’s father, Peter Čeferin, founded a successful law firm. And Peter Čeferin, one of the authors of the Slovenian constitution, was known in Russia for doing business with Russian clients, Josimar wrote. In addition to the Russian authorities, Gazprom was also interested, due to the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, the Norwegian investigative journalists discovered.
Five days after the four Nordic countries expressed their support, Čeferin went to Moscow, where he met with the President of the Russian Football Union, Vitalij Mutko, and the heads of the football associations of Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Cyprus and Montenegro. Just like the Nordic countries, these countries also promised they would support him.
Tycoon Kokeza in direct contact with Čeferin!
The management of the Football Association of Slovenia during the term of Aleksander Čeferin cannot be written in gold letters. After leaving the position at the NZS, Čeferin left the association in red, due to the irrational management of the Brdo National Football Centre. At least five million euros were irrationally spent on this project. Čeferin allowed himself another dark stain, when the then-UEFA leaders approved a loan of four million euros to the NZS, which bypassed the official NZS procedure for borrowing, in order to buy a share of the assets in the Sports Lottery. This information was shared by the then-member of the Finance Committee, Hansen.
Therefore, we should not be surprised that Aleksander Čeferin’s closest allies in the Balkan are the President of the Croatian Football Federation, Davor Šuker, and the President of the Association of Serbia, Slaviša Kokeza. Both also hold the positions on the UEFA Executive Committee. Davor Šuker was elected Deputy Chairman of the Executive Committee in the last elections in 2019. Kokeza also profited from being a good acquaintance with Čeferin, as he was elected one of the Vice-Presidents of the Executive Committee. In addition to Kokeza, one of Čeferin’s closest associates is also the Director of the UEFA national associations and the second most powerful person in office, the Serb Zoran Laković. In an interview with Serbia’s Espresso, Laković said Kokeza was one of the few officials in the region who is in direct contact with the UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin.
Unfortunately, Slaviša Kokeza has repeatedly come under the scrutiny of the Serbian public. The well-known Serbian journalist Milojko Pantič exposed Čeferin’s friend in an article, titled How Kokeza Stole our Football in Serbia. Kokeza is considered one of the “business winners” of the reign of Aleksandar Vučič. In 2012, he founded a company called Prontier. It dealt with information technology. Last year, he sold the company for 52 million euros. In 2012, the value of the company was only 150 thousand euros. Prontier was successful primarily because most of its contracts were with state institutions and institutes. This was then followed by the purchase of the real estate company Eurosalon for 190 thousand euros. The investment in the Eurosalon also paid off, as Kokeza earned 16 million euros with one sold building. However, Kokeza gained the biggest financial profit with the company Win-Win. The value of the company was only five million euros, but due to it doing business with the state, the value of the company rose to 150 million euros, and he sold it to Tehnomanija for this amount, Pantić reveals. It is these facts that reveal that Slaviša Kokeza is just another modern-day Balkan tycoon. The Serbian media have also repeatedly hinted at the close connection between Kokeza and the Zemun clan.
A few months ago, the Serbian public was shocked by the confession of one of the best Serbian football players of all time, a former Manchester United and Inter Milan player, Nemanja Vidić. After last year’s final qualifications for the European Football Championship, Vidić came after Kokeza. “In our football, the people who get far are those who know how to manipulate the system and the law! Just ask them where they got their money from and how they earned it! Until that changes, there will be no progress. I am very interested in who the next expert will be, who will come forward to defend this system,” Vidić concluded with sharp words.
Čeferin’s friend Šuker steals antique gold coins, pays bail for Zdravko Mamić, gambles, and is facing allegations, claiming that he sold Croatian football to the mafia
Davor Šuker is another one of Aleksander Čeferin’s close allies. Last year, they spent part of their holiday in Hvar, along with Željko Pavlica, the former Janez Drnovšek security guard and current head of security at UEFA.
Davor Šuker was considered a national hero in 1998 when he won the bronze medal for Croatia at the World Championship in France. The brilliant image of the best scorer for the Croatian national team quickly began to disappear when Šuker climbed to the top of the Croatian football. Kruno Grlević is a nightmare for Šuker, with all his evidence that proves that Šuker is strongly connected with the Croatian underground. Among other things, Grlević also revealed that Šuker is nothing but an employee of the organised crime and the mafia. “He brought the mafia to the Croatian Football Federation. His life is run by mobsters and guarantors,” Grlević said. In regard to what is going on at the HNS, an insider has said that Šuker is a big gambler at heart. In an interview with the Croatian journalist Domago Margetič, Grlović described how Šuker is just an extended hand of the “ruler of Croatian garbage,” Peter Pripuz. He also ensured that he had audio and video evidence that would prove his words.
However, Davor Šuker had shocked the Croatian public much earlier. He paid one million euros in bail for the controversial President of the Zagreb Football Club Dinamo, Zdravko Mamić. Mamić took advantage of this and fled from the Croatian authorities to Bosnia and Herzegovina. Last year, several Slovenian media reported that Aleksander Čeferin cooperated with Mamić and the President of the NZS, Radenko Mijatovič, in preventing Matjaž Kek from becoming the coach of Dinamo, but in the end, Kek decided to remain the selector of the Slovenian football team.
In 2011, Šuker stole an antique gold coin, worth 30 thousand euros, form one of the forgetful passengers on a plane. The hero of the Croatian football hearts also had to defend himself in the past, because of his connections with Ante Šapina. He was the central figure in bribing the players, referees and officials in German football. Šapina was sentenced to five years in prison because of this.
And when it comes to Šuker, the Croatian media outlets have written in the past that he would rather fly to Miami or Las Vegas, than to a meeting of the domestic league. He experienced great indignation from the Croatian public because of an obvious lie. He boasted that he worked as the President of the HNS for free, but the Croatian media later found out that he actually lied about this. Thus, they revealed that he actually received a salary of almost 7 thousand euros a month.
Did Aleksander Čeferin intervene in rescuing the referee Slavko Vinčič?
Aleksander Čeferin has influential friends with a very suspicious past. As the President of UEFA, he is very well informed about the irregularities in Serbian and Croatian football, but he is covering for both officials. Slaviša Kokeza and Davor Šuker are both members of the UEFA Executive Committee, the highest decision-making body. As the President of the NZS, he also forged strong, friendly ties with both football associations. Čeferin’s confidant, the current President of the NZS, Radenko Mijatovič, is now considered to be the chief operative for the Balkans.
The news of the arrest of forty individuals in a village near Bosnian Bjelina caused quite a stir in Slovenia last summer. An international football referee from Maribor, Slavko Vinčič, was arrested at one of the ranches near this Bosnian town. He himself said that he simply found himself at the wrong place at the wrong time, as he has repeatedly claimed in the media.
However, we have received some interesting information; namely, it was supposedly Aleksander Čeferin, Radenko Mijatovič and the central godfather of Slovenian football, Vlado Šajn, who were involved in solving Vinčič’s great problem with their influence. We will look further into the matter.