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[30 MAR 99] COVENTRY CITY FC NEWS
Konjic Back To Play For City

Coventry City defender Mo Konjic has escaped from the war-torn Balkans and is ready to join his club’s fight against relegation.

The Bosnian captain, who had to fight in his country’s war before joining Monaco, was trapped in Sarajevo by the NATO bombing raids on Yugoslavia.

Bosnia’s Euro 2000 game with Scotland had to be called off but Konjic managed to fly back into England last night.

He said:

"After the match was called off last Thursday we could have taken a 22-hour bus ride to Vienna to try to get out that way but I decided to stay a few days in the hope the ban on flights would be lifted. In the end that is what happened.

"You never know what might happen with Yugoslavia and President Milosevic and our president said there was too much of a risk for us to fly at that time.

"In Bosnia there are three territories – Bosnia Serb, Bosnia Croat and Bosnia Moslem – and the Serbs were with Yugoslavia in their sympathies.

"I can’t say the people at home are happy, but life is going on as normal. Everyone is just watching television for news of the troubles, everything else has stopped.

"I just hope NATO can help everyone because this situation is crazy. For me I am glad to be back here – every time I go home I get trouble. The last time I went home we got caught in the snow.

"All through my football life I have had problems like this, but so has everyone in the Balkans."

Konjic had to give up football for four years to fight in his country’s war and his father Muhioija had to keep the village alive by growing vegetables.

When he was transferred to NK Zagreb he had to escape through the mountains but his car plunged down a ravine braking both his arms. Two weeks later he cut off his plasters to play so he could earn money to send food parcels back to his homeland.
    

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CWN / Sport / Football / Coventry City FC / 30 Mar 99

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