Football around the world: Spain - Mijatovic dismayed at fine

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The Independent Online
THE YUGOSLAV striker Predrag Mijatovic expressed surprise at being fined by Real Madrid for missing his club's Primera Division match against Alaves on Sunday to protest against Nato air strikes against his country.

"I don't understand the decision to sanction me," Mijatovic, who scored Real's winning goal in last May's European Cup final, said. He was fined around pounds 22,000 for missing the game against Alaves and told that he could be discarded from the first-team squad if he refused to play in future matches.

Despite the fine, Mijatovic may also miss next Sunday's game against Celta Vigo. "I don't know. It depends what is going on in my country," he said. Five other Yugoslav internationals also boycotted Spanish Primera Division matches last weekend - Celta Vigo's Goran Djorovic, Real Mallorca's Jovan Stankovic, Valencia's Miroslav Djukic, Real Oviedo's Albert Nadj and Tenerife's Slavisa Jokanovic. None of the other five have been fined.

Lorenzo Sanz, the Real Madrid president, said: "Some decisions we don't like taking, but if we let discipline be broken then it is goodbye to the club. I know he thinks what he did was right, but in fact he abandoned his place of work." On the day of the match, Mijatovic attended a rally against the air strikes.

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