Milan Jovic – the father of Real Madrid striker Luka – insists his son has not broken any quarantine rules and claims ‘a lot of things have not been understood’.
A report in El Mundo last week outlined how the striker was the one player who Madrid did allow to return to his home country to spend time with his young family, but he was allegedly seen partying on the streets of Belgrade – a move which has drawn criticism both in the nation and in Spain.
Jovic and other Serbian players who play with foreign clubs were criticized by Prime Minister Ana Brnabic after they returned, with the striker seen partyin in the streets of Belgrade on his girlfriend’s birthday.
Brnabic has said, as cited by Diario AS: “We have negative examples of our footballers, who are paid very well, ignoring mandatory self-isolation upon returning home.”
Brnabic and other leaders have urged all Serbian citizens to refrain from returning home if possible, to limit the spread of the virus.
However, the player’s father now insists that the pictures of his son were old photos taken in Spain, not Serbia, and has protested his son’s innocence.
“Let him go to jail, but only if he is guilty,” Jovic’s father is cited as saying by Marca.
“Luka passed two tests and gave negative in both. That is why he understood that he could come to Serbia. Now he seems to be a big criminal.
“I totally agree with the president and the Prime Minister, but only if he is guilty.
“He would accept that decision if he did something wrong, but he went to Belgrade to go to the house.
“Luka did not celebrate anything on the street. He was with his girlfriend at home – she cannot leave the house as she is pregnant.
“Photos have been taken of the two having fun, but they are in Spain.
“Luka came to Serbia to be with his family. We knew that he was coming. He has always been prepared to help his country, financially or in any way.
“I think the criticism has been excessive There are things that have not been understood. It hurts me to see what has happened.”
All Real Madrid members of staff were quarantined and their facilities closed last week after one of their basketball stars, Trey Thompkins, tested positive for coronavirus.
Jovic, 22, joined Los Blancos in a landmark €60m deal last summer from Eintracht Frankfurt but he has started only four league games and has found himself frozen out of Zinedine Zidane’s plans.
Serbian striker Jovic was prolific for Frankfurt last season and he netted a devasting 27 goals for the club, including 10 in the Europa League.
That prompted the Bundesliga club to trigger their purchase option on a deal from Benfica, before selling permanently to Madrid – where he has failed to dislodge primary attacking star Karim Benzema.