Serbian National Parachuter Ejected from Team for Disgruntled Facebook Comments

A Serbian national parachuter has been let go from the national team after he criticized officials for leaving the team high and dry at the week-long FAI European Freefall Style and Accuracy Landing Championships in Cheboksary, Russia without accommodation, practice runs and permission to use training materials.

Serbian national team parachuter Aleksandar Cvetković [sr] described on his Facebook profile how he and the rest of the team, not suspecting to be abandoned by their own at the Aeronautical Federation of Serbia, travelled to Russia only to find that the Federation had not prepared or paid for anything. The championships lasted from August 20-27, 2013.

The whole delegation experienced tremendous discomfort during their stay there, to say the least. Their accommodation in the hotel was neither registered nor paid for by officials and the Serbian athletes were finally, after explaining the situation, received at the hotel through the generosity of the championship hosts and with no word from the relevant Serbian Federation or Ministry.

Aleksandar Cvetković - From Russia With Love

Aleksandar Cvetković – From Russia With Love

On his Facebook profile, Cvetković reacted publicly, overcome with outrage and disappointment over the abasement:

Samo da znate sta se desava !!! Presao sam 4000 km i dosao da predstavljam SRBIJU na “SAMPIONATU EVROPE” u padobranstvu. Dosli smo 3 dana ranije da bi smo trenirali i spremili se za sto bolje rezultate ali… Na recepciji hotela se desava prvi sok ! Saznajem da su nas Celnici naseg Vazduhoplovnog saveza poslali bez ikakvog dogovora sa oragnizatorima u vezi naseg dolaska i trenaznih skokova i NARAVNO ni jedan jedini evro nije uplacen za nas i nase ucesce na ovom prvenstvu ! Dobrom voljom domacina smo primljeni u hotel da ne bi smo spavali na ulici…hvala bogu sto su Rusi “nasa braca” a onda sledi porazavajuca cinjenica da ako hocemo skakati trenazne skokove moramo sami placati iz svog dzepa. Naravno dok su danas sve Reprezentacije skakale i trenirale ja sam sedeo na zemlji i sve to posmatrao . Najruzniji i porazavajuci osecaj na svetu dok novaca ima za skupa putovanja ,hotele i poslovne ruckove pojedinih mi sportisti smo osudjeni na ovakve situacije koje se desavaju po ko zna koji put ! TO JE LICE SRBIJE gde se gleda Farma i gde je Ekrem Jevric glavni junak Nacije !!! Sada vi procenite s kakvim motivom i voljom cu ja nastupati i predstavljati Srbiju …

Just so you know what's going on! I have travelled 4,000 kilometers to represent SERBIA at the “European Championships” in parachuting. We came three days earlier in order to train and prepare for better results but … At the reception we received our first shock! I found out that the leaders of our association sent us without consulting at all with the organizers about our arrival and training jumps and, OF COURSE, not a single euro is paid for us and our participation in this championships! Thanks to the good will of the host we have been taken into the hotel so we would not end up sleeping on the street … thank God that the Russians are “our brothers”, then this was followed by the devastating fact that if we want a training jump we would have to pay for them out of our own pockets. Of course, while all the other teams trained and jumped today, I sat on the ground and watched it all. The ugliest and most devastating feeling in the world – while the money goes for expensive travel, hotels and business lunches of certain people, we athletes are doomed to these situations which are happening who knows how many times! THIS IS THE FACE OF SERBIA in which Farma [a low-budget “farm” version reality show similar to “Big Brother”] and Ekrem Jevrić is the top hero of the nation!!! Now you evaluate with what motivation and will I will perform and represent Serbia …

In response to his Facebook rant, this young athlete has received a number of encouraging comments, including numerous condemnations of Serbian authorities, who often seem to forget some of the nation's most successful athletes.

A couple of days later, Aleksandar showed true sportsmanship and sent greetings from Russia with smile:

Ipak ja branim boje svoje zemlje,pa kakva god da je ! Pozdrav iz Chebuksara – Cuvaska Republika ;)

I defend the colors of my country after all, regardless of what it is like! Greetings from Chebuksara – Chuvash Republic ;)

The Aeronautical Federation of Serbia did not cover any of the costs for the national team's participation in the European Championships and, due to this, the team had no opportunity for any training jumps before the competition. Despite all odds being against him, Aleksandar Cvetković finished the competition and ranked 46th out of 65 competitors. His positive attitute and previous public comments on the matter were not well received by Serbian officials, however. That same day, he received news from the national team selectors that his talent would no longer be needed on the national team:

2 2 11 2 2 3 3 3 =28 cm . 46.-to mesto od 65 takmciara, to je moj ucinak na Prvenstvu Evrope. Uz sve muke koje sam doziveo ovde i ovo je odlicno. OBAVESTENJE !!!! Uz svu bruku i sramotu koju sam doziveo ovde obavesten sam od strane selektora da cu zbog svog ponasanja biti izbacen iz REPREZENTACIJE od strane Celnika Vazduhoplovnog Saveza Srbije . Tako da je ovo ipak moje oprostajno takmicenje za Srbiju !! Ziveli

2 2 11 2 2 3 3 3 =28 cm . 46th place out of 65 competitors, that is my ranking at the European Championship. In view of all the trouble I've had to live through, this is excellent. NOTE !!!! After all the embarrassment and shame I have gone through here I have been informed by the selectors that I will be thrown out of the NATIONAL TEA due to my behavior by the officials of the Aeronautical Federation of Serbia. So this is after all my farewell competition for Serbia !! Cheers

Views of Serbians on this issue are perhaps best described in a Facebook comment by Srdjan Mitrović:

Mogu da nam “oduzmu” takmicenje…mogu da nam “oduzmu” pasose…ali ne mogu ono sto imamo…..i nosimo u srcu…..

They can “take away” our contest … They can “take away” our passports … but not what we have ….. and carry in our hearts .. …

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