Straight from Don Camillo-land
This Bogdanovic tale from Gozo has all the ingredients of a tale from Giovanni Guareschi. Or from a Peppino skit on Mafia-land. Or more macabre tales from Latin America. On Friday, Daniel Bogdanovic was arrested following a spot of domestic disagreement. But on Sunday there was a match between Xewkija Tigers, for whom Bogdanovic plays, and rivals Kerċem. Last year Bogdanovic scored twice in Xewkija’s loss against Kerċem, so his team needed him.
As a result, an order came from Victoria and the player was released so that he could play in the important game. Xewkija won the match 2-1. Anyway, on Monday he was meekly arrested and arraigned in court. We have not been told where he spent Sunday night.
Were it not for the comic aspects of this tale, we should be shocked at this fast and loose approach to law observance. We are speaking here of a case of family violence, or at least an alleged case of. We are still in a country where family violence still struggles to be noticed by the police authorities, as many women will testify. That a football league game seems to have been given precedence over law enforcement is much worse than a sick joke. We do not know who ordered the Victoria head of police to order the player’s release and in Parliament on Monday, Minister Anton Refalo reacted with vehemence at an insinuation by Jason Azzopardi who dared ask if it was the minister who ordered the player’s release. Dr Refalo was once accused of ordering the Gozo Channel ship to turn back and take him in but he later said the order had been given by a member of his staff without his knowledge.
There is an inquiry on this case but who wants to bet we will not get to know who gave the order and whether the person who gave the order is going to be made to pay for his action?
The rot is wider than that: Laws and regulations are there to be put aside when circumstances so dictate, and these circumstances which may seem trifles to many people, are so absolutely important to those involved in the game and the league. Priorities are turned upside down and what’s worse personal interest, club interest, maybe political interest (because in Malta everything is political) are much more important than observing the law.
In our myopia, village or team loyalty goes much further than observance of the law. We wait and see what the inquiry will come up with but unless the real culprit is found and punished, the country will have been given a signal that laws are there to be circumvented.