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Meet Croatia’s President Who Taught The World a Lesson in Leadership

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At Sunday’s final between France and Croatia, Croatian president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović was a literal bright spot in the crowd. You couldn’t miss her. A combination of brains, beauty and power. Could it get any more potent than that?
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Dressed in a red-and-white team jersey, Grabar-Kitarović spent most of the game on her feet, cheering in support of a squad that ultimately lost the 4-2 final. Before being invited into the VIP box as a guest of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Grabar-Kitarović watched every single one of her team’s appearances from the stands with fellow Croatia fans.
Being a visible booster for a winning team is one of the fun parts of being a leader. Croatia has never advanced to a world cup final before and the team, led by captain (and former refugee) Luka Modric, were national heroes.



But when it was over and Croatia was left to reckon with the deeply disappointing defeat, Grabar-Kitarović was as present and supportive as she’d been during their ascent. She embraced a shattered Modric after he was presented with the Golden Ball, the tournament’s most valuable player award. A hard rain started to fall during the final award ceremony. As handlers rushed to put umbrellas up over the heads of Putin and other dignitaries, Grabar-Kitarović stood in the rain to shake the hand of every player on both teams.
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Being willing to stand up and project a steady and positive presence in times of disappointment is one of a leader’s most important tasks. The late South African president Nelson Mandela was an advocate of this view. “It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur,” goes one quote widely attributed to the late leader. “You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.”



Consoling a losing soccer team hardly counts as danger, nor is it the most challenging part of Grabar-Kitarović’s office. But projecting a sense of unity and unwavering commitment is a necessary and important part of the job. (Grabar-Kitarović is Croatia’s head of state, not its head of government, a role currently filled by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković.)
A former Fulbright scholar, ambassador to the US, and assistant secretary to NATO, Grabar-Kitarović is leading an emerging eastern European economy at a tremendously precarious time for the postwar global order, and only a few decades removed from the region’s bloody civil war. Standing by the team during its moment of public disappointment is as powerful a statement as celebrating in the good times.

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The value of leadership above partisanship in fact written it into Croatia’s constitution. Prior to her election in 2015, Grabar-Kitarovićwas a member of the center-right Croatian Democratic Union, but resigned immediately from the group upon election. Presidents in Croatia can’t hold any party affiliations in office. As leaders they must represent an entire nation, and there can’t be any question of whose team they are on.
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Crime

South Africa: Farmer bags life imprisonment for killing farmworker

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A Western Cape farmer‚ Martin Visser‚ was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for the murder of a farmworker‚ Adam Pieterse.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said the farmer‚ from Lutzville‚ was also sentenced to three years for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and six months for assault.

Visser allegedly beat Pieterse with a spade‚ dragged him with a quadbike and then buried him in 2015.

Ntabazalila said there was an “incident” earlier on Wednesday in the cells before Judge Nathan Erasmus sentenced Visser.

It was reported that Visser tried to commit suicide by hanging himself with his jacket.

Ntabazalila said: “An incident took place in the cell and the accused was taken to hospital but he is back now. Defence objected with the sentencing taking place. State objected to that‚ saying the accused was assessed in hospital and tests of concussion were negative. After that sentencing started.”

Ntabazalila added: “Judge Erasmus told the court that an incident took place in the cell. He did not mention what incident it was.”

Visser murdered Pieterse in 2015.

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Victor Moses retires from Super Eagles at 26

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Super Eagles winger, Victor Moses has announced his retirement from playing for the Super Eagles of Nigeria.

The player represented England at the youth level having grown up in the UK, but later played for Nigeria at the senior national team.



Moses last played for Nigeria against Argentina in the Russia 2018 World, where he produced superb assist.

However, the 26-year-old has announced his retirement from international football with the Eagles via his instagram page on Wednesday evening.

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He wrote, ‘I would like to announce that after much thought I have made the decision to retire from playing international football.

‘’I have experienced some of the best moments of my life wearing the Super Eagles shirt and have memories with me that will last a lifetime. Nothing will ever compete to what it felt like to represent Nigeria on behalf of our country.

‘’However I feel that now is the right time to step away in order to be able to focus fully on club career and my young family as well as to allow the next generation of Super Eagles stars the opportunity to step up and to flourish. We are blessed as a nation to have so many exciting young players coming through and now is their time.

‘’There are so many highlights that stand out for me over the years; from making my debut, to playing in two World Cups and being a part of the team to win the African Nations Cup for first time for our nation since 1994 being just a few of them.

‘’Thank you for the memories and good luck to the team for the future”

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