The Organizational Board that manages the commemoration of the 23rd anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide has asked FIFA to mark the event in some way ahead of the Wednesday World Cup match between Croatia and England.
Croatia and England will face off in the FIFA World Cup semi-finals on the same day when Bosnians remember the day when on July 11, 1995, Bosnian Serb forces overran the eastern Bosnian enclave and rounded up the town’s Muslim Bosniaks, separated men from women and little children and systematically executed some 8,000 men and boys.
"We ask of you to mark the beginning of the semi-finals match with a minute of silence or in some other way, with the aim of sending off a message of peace and a warning for what happened to Srebrenica to never happen anywhere again," the Organisation Board wrote in an open letter.
After the war, two international courts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the World Court, have ruled that the Srebrenica massacre was an act of genocide.
The bodies of the Srebrenica victims were dumped into numerous mass graves in the area around Srebrenica. Forensic experts excavated them and identified the bones through DNA analysis before returning the bodies to the families.
Those rebury them every year on July 11 at the Memorial Centre’s cemetery.
More than 6,000 Srebrenica victims have been found, identified and buried since the war ended. Another 35 of them are to be buried this year.