11. 06. 2019

INTERVIEW: Dragan Travica for WoV - "We were just facing promises in Iran, that's all we got so far"

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Well, Dragan Travica has gotten into an unpleasant situation along with his father Ljubomir Travica.


After spending a couple of months in Shahrdari Urmia, in the season 2016/2017, the club didn't pay anything to father and son. They even won the case on the court, but that's all they've got so far...

Let’s start the interview following your post on Instagram about your experience in Iran. What’s your experience there and do you have any contacts with the club’s representatives?

Well, I am not in contact with them for more than a year. There is some guy who is contacting my manager Djordje Matijasevic. The thing is that they didn’t pay nothing so far, we were just getting promises, “wait a little bit”, “next week”, or “everything is going to be all right. We were so mad, we tried to contact the FIVB, sending a letter toward their address, then we sent the second letter and the third, but there was no answer. When we got there in Iran, we didn’t have an apartment, we didn’t have a club’s restaurant. We asked them to give us money for the food and they gave us around 100 euros, which were enough for 2 weeks. We tried to get over this situation, we wanted to move forward but we were just facing promises, the same story each week from the beginning.”

However, you couldn’t stay there for the entire season?

After beating Sarmayeh Bank, a president of Shahrdari Urmia called Ljubomir to come to the office. Since the father got some flu, I told him to let me go there and talk to him. I went there and I was praised like “Well, this is a great victory, I am very happy…”. I was just sitting without making any facial expressions. I said, ok, please, read this contract. He said – “Don’t worry, you will get the money next week…”. My answer was that we can’t wait a minute more and that I want money tomorrow or we are leaving. Since we knew that they are lying all the time, we booked the tickets for a charter flight and we left Iran on December 28. They announced that Dragan Travica and Ljubomir Travica went home for a New Year’s Eve and Christmas, but the fans were worrying about the situation, they also had a feeling that something is wrong. Then, we decided to go to the court and we got the case 100%, but we didn’t get the money. The FIVB talked with the Iranian Volleyball Federation, saying that they will block all the transfers, foreign players as well. But nothing changed…”

Have you talked with the FIVB or the Iranian Volleyball Federation representatives?

We talked to the Iranian Volleyball Federation president, he was convincing us that we will get our money, that we will fight together… Afterward, my manager Djordje Matijasevic had talks with the Iranian Volleyball Federation, I hope that Urmia will fulfill the contract obligations. We did all we could. We got the case on the court and we got the info that they had to pay until the start of 2018. Now, it’s 2019 and we didn’t’ get anything. Urmia’s representatives have never sent an answer, we just got the offer by one other guy who said that Urmia could pay only 50%. We declined that offer. The FIVB didn’t do anything on this to help us…”

Have you talked with the Iranian players maybe?

Yes, I have talked with some of those that played in Italy. Their answer was the same, that’s Iran, it’s always like this…”

What was your experience in Iran regarding the matches, organizations and the fans?

The Iranian league has a good level, not like Italy, Poland or Russia. The organization is not that great since we were facing the transfer troubles, also there were no dressing rooms in some halls. The passion for volleyball is really amazing, the fans are great. But, when I am telling the story to my friends that we didn’t have warm water for almost two months, they don’t believe me. Sometimes we miss lunch or sometimes the hotel is overbooked and we need to go to the next one. The people were gentle, they were also sorry for seeing us in this situation. The players also were on our side, the human side was really fine.”

How would you rate a season in Padova?

Padova is my city, I am playing at home. I will be 33 soon and still feel comfortable playing at a high level. This is a team that works step by step, we have a great atmosphere and we are like family here. The next season will be even more difficult. We have a huge potential and we will see how far we can go.”

What're your plans for this summer?

My plan is to stay in Padova for this summer since I’ve founded with my partners Beach Volley Padova. We are opening the school, we have the coaches, living zone, bar party but we also have a lot of work in front of us. This is a new challenge for me and I will spend this summer here in Padova since I see this project as a part of my future,” says Dragan Travica at the end of an interview with WorldofVolley.


Check out more interviews.


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