Speaking before his team meet Brazil in the quarter-finals of the World Cup, Croatia coach Zlatko Dalić apologised for a comment on figure skating at his press conference after criticism from Croatian skaters.
Asked about the quality of his attack earlier this week, Dalić said: “This is not figure skating, we’re fighting for a result. Our team made it through and deserves praise… When you are among the top eight in the world, it means that you’re doing a lot right.”
This statement prompted Melita Juratek, secretary of the Croatian skating federation, to respond, saying: “This was an inappropriate statement, Dalić has disrespected our sport. Figure skating is one of the most difficult sports. I wish our footballers the best of luck.”
As a result, the coach was asked to clarify his view on figure skating this afternoon, saying: “I apologize if anyone was offended. I didn’t mean anything by it… it’s a difficult sport because artistic impression is also evaluated. In football, it’s not like that. That’s why I said that only the result matters, and that it’s not like artistic skating where we would get points for style.”