Dejan Lovren, under fire from critics, comes out of silence

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To strengthen this winter, Olympique Lyonnais formalized the return of Dejan Lovren (33), nine and a half years after the departure of the Croatian defender in Southampton. An interesting reinforcement for Laurent Blanc, who more than anything wanted the arrival of an element of experience and character in this position to support the young Castello Lukeba. Former club member and third in the last 2022 World Cup in Qatar with the checkered selection, Lovren has everything to be a good recruit on Rhone soil. Problem ? His extra-sporty attitude disturbs the Lyon club.

On December 22, Lovren was singled out by various media celebrating Croatia’s third place at the 2022 World Cup, with suspicions of fascist salutes, nationalist songs and homophobic remarks. At a press conference on Thursday, Laurent Blanc did not escape questions on the subject and was quickly embarrassed. “His song? It is a nationalist song from his country. For the rest, I cannot speak for him. Me, I saw the thing he could bring to the club, he’s a good recruit.tempered the OL manager.

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“We deform in an immediately negative way”

In an interview with theAFP and relayed by ProgressDejan Lovren, defended himself on Friday for having sung neo-Nazi or fascist songs. “I already explained everything about this in Croatia about this video on YouTube, but it was not taken up in France. For me it is a patriotic song that relates to my country which means that I love my country. The song we are talking about (…) is not fascist at all. It goes back to the liberation of the country and the glory of Croatia that we all sing to celebrate a happy event. My country fought for its independence obtained very recently and remains under construction”first explained the defender about the chant.

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Before quickly defending himself against the controversy. “But I was attacked. We distort in an immediately negative way without referring to the right song. It has nothing to do with fascism. So I’m surprised. I arrive in Lyon with a positive energy that I want to show on the pitch to pass on to my teammates., added Dejan Lovren. A response that was therefore expected, but it still remains to be seen how Olympique Lyonnais intends to defuse this thorny affair. As a reminder, OL had already been under fire from critics after the recruitment of Jérôme Boateng, found guilty, on appeal, of assault and battery on his former partner.

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