Todays Date
January 20, 2021

Vardar European Champion – and the day after

By Trifun Kostovski


This year I will be embroidered in my memory as one of those in which beautiful things have happened. Of course, the affinities for the beautiful things are different for all of us, but I am convinced that a large part of my fellow citizens will agree that only in two weekends, on May 18 and June 1, we experienced the stunning moments of joy, happiness and fulfillment. Believe me, money cannot buy this feeling. This is a deep emotional urge that fuels pride that we are part of the modern European family. Problems of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia are certainly not solved or will be soon. But, all the more, the sense of victory gives comfort. At the same time, this is an incentive to be better, not only in sports, but in all spheres and build a system grounding in the peaks of various areas.

Tamara Todevska was first elected by the jury in Tel Aviv. This is a great recognition for the Republic of Macedonia despite the fact that many citizens want to underestimate it. Vardar, for the second time in just three years, climbed the throne as European handball champion for the seasons 2017 and 2019. All sport lovers, even those who are not, were happy that something positive happened in our country. The reception at the airport and the Macedonia Square, as well as the happiness that was seen on every face are things that the citizens lack. Of course, life continues as it was with all the worries and discontent, but this moment will remain forever remembered as a piece of joy in the hearts of the citizens.

However, I cannot but mention the place and role of the local and central government in this context. I do not know how it seemed to you, but it seemed very unusual to me. After Vardar became champion, Mayor Shilegov opened from your and my bag to honor Vardar handball players. And the Agency for Youth and Sports will also honor the players with our money. And the peak of this is the announcement by the president of the government that he will also honor the handball players with half a million Euros. I do not know about you, but I feel as if I was in a café where good musicians get good tips. But the difference is that we give our money in a café, from our own pocket. And here they are donating money from the citizens to a private club, without asking anyone about it.

I feel embarrassed. You will ask yourself why?

One, seemingly minor reason, is the negligence towards the transfer of the final. MRT is under the authority of the government. At the same time, all the national media are licensed through the Broadcasting Council, which is also under the Government. No media broadcasted the final of the handball championship. And we, who wanted to be happy, had to watch it through the Belgrade Arena. Such omissions indicate the big picture.

The local and central government took part in the event most popularly, at the very moment they realized that this was for getting points. Sports is not immune to politics and it should be part of state policies. But, first of all, it requires a state strategy that will find a way to organize the financing and development of sports rather than populist political manners.

Being the former sponsor of the handball women’s club Kometal Gjorce Petrov, if I was Samsonenko, I would indignantly turn down all these cash prizes and I would ask the competent authorities to use this money if not for something more urgent, at least for continuous, and not incidental development of the sport.

The old say that money can buy everything. Which means that everyone has their own price. But there is no higher price than dignity.

In the end, the most sincere deep congratulations to the handball players, the whole team, the management of the club and Mr. Samsonenko. I have been there – there is no price that can buy the feeling that you have climbed Olympus. That is the award for Mr. Samsonenko.

And I recommend to the central and local governments not to honor with other people’s money, but rather to give up certain tax revenues and these funds to be directed to the strategic development of sport.


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