Swiss authorities block Yugoslav Euro2000 prize money and shift burden of proof to Yugoslavia

Euro2000: Yugoslavia were eliminated by the Netherlands 6-1 in the quarterfinals Keystone

Yugoslavia says the Swiss authorities are demanding proof from its football federation that it is independent of Belgrade. Until then payment of the Yugoslav national team's prize money for making it into the Euro2000 quarterfinals will be blocked.

This content was published on July 8, 2000

The money, estimated at SFr7.8 million, was due to be transferred from the European football body, UEFA, to the Yugoslav football federation, as the standard sum for all quarter-finalists.

Branko Bulatovic, secretary-general of the Yugoslav football federation confirmed, "In order to get the money, we have to convince the Swiss authorities that our organisation is independent of the Yugoslav state."

The decision whether to pay Yugoslavia has been kicked back and forth with Switzerland initially demanding that UEFA prove the Yugoslav football federation is not under state control. Yugoslavia is subject to international sanctions and its president, Slobodan Milosevic has been accused of being responsible for severe human rights violations in the Balkans.

UEFA in turn, says the Yugolsav football federation and the national side are independent of Belgrade and has demanded that Switzerland proves the contrary. It argues that Yugoslavia, as a member of the Zurich-based international football federation, FIFA, is in the clear, as FIFA's own rules require independence as a criteria for membership.

While Switzerland has maintained diplomatic relations with Belgrade, it has banned capital transfers to organisations linked to Milosevic's regime. The European Union also has similar sanctions, which do allow business with Yugoslav companies, but only if it can be proved the firms in question do not finance Milosevic's regime.

Meanwhile, Bulatovic, says he is confident the money will be paid.

"Our federation statute book has all the necessary information. We are sending it to Berne."

swissinfo with agencies

In compliance with the JTI standards

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

Contributions under this article have been turned off. You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here. Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

Change your password

Do you really want to delete your profile?

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished... We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.

Weekly top stories

Keep up to date with the best stories from SWI on a range of topics, straight into your mailbox.


The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.