Bosnian Croat brothers face off in handball match

SARAJEVO, Bosnia and Herzegovina - Two Bosnian Croats brothers, Ivan and Igor Karadzic, are to compete as rivals in a match between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina as part of World Men's Handball Championship in Qatar on Friday.

Members of the Karadiz family of Croatian origin from Mostar city in southern Bosnia Karadzic say they are looking forward to watching the match in which Ivan will play for Bosnia while his brother plays in the Croatian national team.

Father Ante Karadzic told The Anadolu Agency that, during their careers, the pair found themselves as rivals many times - but they always behaved as professionals.

Ante said: "Once after a match, Igor came home with a bloody nose; I asked what happened and he told me that Ivan had hit him." 

"I turned to Ivan and asked; 'What's the matter? He is your brother.' He gave me a short and clear answer; 'He is not my brother in the field'."

- 'Hard moment'

The brothers' mother, Ankica, said: "I watched a match before where they were competing against each other. It was one of the hardest moments of my life."

But she added: "I will support both in the match. May the best man win."

Ante said he has taken annual leave to watch the championship in Qatar and support his sons there.

"I do not know how to react. I cannot split my heart in two. May the best team win, or perhaps the best result is a draw, so both teams can rise to the next round," he said.

The only one in the family who is sure about which team to support is Ivan's wife, Ineta.

- Match day approaches

She said she will be supporting the Bosnia and Herzegovina national team which her husband played in on Friday against Croatia.

Ineta is preparing for the match day by painting her and her daughter Ivo's nails with the colors of the Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia flags, saying she wishes Bosnia and Herzegovina will win.

After Bosniaks and Serbs, Bosnian Croats are the third most populous ethnic group in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which consists of Bosniaks, Serbs and Croats.

Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed an agreement on dual citizenship with Croatia on Oct. 26, 2011.

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