VMRO-DPMNE Secretary General Igor Janusev revealed that the Albanian nationalist group of football hooligans – the Shverceri – also caused damage at the Philip II of Macedon football stadium in Skopje. On Friday, the Shverceri (meaning – smugglers) were allowed by the management of the Macedonian National Theater to celebrate their 30th anniversary in the newly rebuilt grand Skopje theater, resulting in significant damage, shockingly unruly behavior and nationalist outbursts.

Janusev told the Macedonian Radio that the Albanian group also gathered at the main Skopje football stadium and did serious damage, but there are attempts to cover up this additional incident.

This hasn’t been reported yet, and it may not be fully reported. The incident happened in the night between Friday and Saturday, they demolished the equipment at the stadium, but nobody dares write about it, Janusev said.

It is likely that the event was deliberately held at the entirely unsuitable venue, because the Macedonian National Theater, as well as the Philip II of Macedon stadium, are part of the Skopje 2014 project – the urban renewal of Skopje initiated by former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski which had an element of Macedonian national pride. Having Albanian nationalist events held at these venues was seen as a clear provocation.

Janusev called on the DUI party officials, who were busy excusing away the incident at the Macedonian National Theater, to condemn the nationalist chants and the hate speech used by the Shverceri, a group whose members killed an ethnic Macedonian football fan last year.

The damage, the destruction of property, can be repaired. That’s the lesser evil. What has affected all of us so badly is the hate speech which can trigger ethnic tensions, Janusev said.