Stoke City manager Tony Pulis has sprung to the defence of former Bosnian president Ejup Ganic, who was arrested at Heathrow for war crimes today, insisting that: “He’s just not that kind of war criminal.”
The football world was shocked by Pulis’s staunch defence of Ganic, who had been in the UK for several days having attended a number of events at Buckingham University.
Ganic is thought to be one of 19 Bosnians accused of involvement in an alleged hijack of Yugoslav army convoy withdrawing from Sarajevo in 1992, a month after the Bosnian war started, in which 42 soldiers were killed.
However Pulis was insistent in his appraisal of the situation: “Nobody really knows what Ejup Ganic is like, except the Bosnian people,” he said. “What right do the Serbian authorities have to demand his extradition? None, that’s what.
“I mean, sure, the boy’s gone in hard, but there’s been absolutely no intent to brutally slaughter 42 soldiers,” Pulis continued. “I’ll tell you what’s more – Ejup Ganic doesn’t have a murderous bone in his body…he’s just misunderstood. If you ask me, these Yugoslav army convoys get entirely too much protection from the authorities, when the real truth is that they just don’t like it up ’em.”
Football pundits have been left uncertain as to the exact reason behind Pulis’s outburst, although ITV’s Andy Townsend suggested one theory:
“This isn’t exactly a new phenomenon. Tony has been making excuses for any number of inexplicable things for months now. Take for instance his constant inclusion of Ricardo Fuller up front and insistence that he has ‘played well’. Or, for that matter, the fact that makes no apology for being a balding, middle-aged man who wears a baseball cap?
“Surely none of these things can be defended? I thought I’d seen everything when I saw him defend Ryan Shawcross’s attempt to amputate Aaron Ramsey’s leg on Saturday…but now this?”
Bookmakers William Hill are already offering odds of 2-1 that Pulis will begin defending that most indefensible of things – Ashley Cole cheating on Cheryl – before the season’s end, while Ejup Ganic faces an automatic domestic three-war suspension for violent, murderous conduct.