But in addition to the chanting and cheering, the hall was repeatedly invaded by “Vučiću pe**ru”, an insult against the Serbian President that has become popular at Partizan matches, especially football matches.
But this time was different compared to many previous ones.
While for almost two years insults against President Aleksandar Vučić could be heard at the stadium in Humska exclusively from the east and west stands where there are no organized fan groups, this is the second time that organized fans have also joined in the name-calling.
The first time it happened was on 14 November during the match between Partizan and Novi Pazar in the last round of the Superleague before the winter break. The south chanted “Vucicu, pe**ru”, and then the crowd from the eastern stand responded – applause backed up the chants.
Now the same chanting could be heard several times during the basketball match, when the players were again organised supporters.
The banners and choreographies during the game were particularly interesting.
“Stop the French military Operation Sky in Serbia! Freedom to the Grobari!” was the message from the South Stand from people loyal to the clan of Veljko Belivuk, who is accused of serious crimes and is believed to be part of a fan war for riches, the logical sequence of an attempt to expel him from the stand by former convict Đorđe Prelić.
As Nova.rs has already reported, the battle for supremacy in the south stand of the Partizan stadium is already being fought, and two fan groups, “South Guard” and “Young Boys”, have stood out in the dispute over who will take the primacy. Despite the struggle for supremacy in the south, the common goal of the fans is to remove Đorđ Prelić, a convicted hooligan who is suspected of having state backing, from their ranks.
And the spectacular choreography in the Arena before the start of the Euroleague match against Maccabi attracted a lot of attention. Although people were mostly amazed the moment the image of “Billy Python”, the famous character from the cult film The Marathon Family (Maratonci trče počasni krug), began to rise from the stands under the arena’s arches, an avalanche of questions was raised.
Apart from the grandiose character that appeared in front of and on the fan props as an allusion to the undertaking performed by Billy Python, there was also a message.
“I’ve known them for 10 years, they’re great robbers”, read the banner behind the film character, a paraphrase of a quote from the film when Billy Python says 50 years instead of 10. The allusion in the film is to the Topalović family, the main protagonists of this saga of anti-heroes, but the question is to whom the message of the Partizan fans was referring.
Many social media users have linked the story to the SNS and the message to the regime, but interestingly, their reign began exactly 10 years ago with the victory of Tomislav Nikolić in the presidential elections.
The theory is problematic due to the fact that such a choreography would not be possible due to the club’s logistical support, and Partizan’s first man Ostoja Mijailovic is close to Aleksandar Vučić.
It is interesting, however, that the message comes at a time when there is a united chant against the incumbent president and the struggle for dominance on the victory stage continues.
Some extreme theories even go so far as to say that the fall of the current regime is on the horizon and that the club is realigning in time in the direction of new winds blowing, but they are all in the realm of fantasy, at least at the moment.
Some have linked all this to accusations by Crvena zvezda and Partizan fans of overwhelming support for the ruling red-whites at all levels and the perception that the current regime is oppressing the black-whites, although the material for such views is on the other side.
It will therefore be interesting to see how the most ardent fans behave in the next period, and the first next opportunity in the Euroleague, where more attendance is expected, will be the derby against Crvena zvezda, which could bring an extra dimension.