Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Balkans floods: Edin Dzeko urges world to help Bosnia

updated 7:38 AM EDT, Mon May 26, 2014
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina striker Edin Dzeko appeals for aid to help flood victims
  • Balkans region hit by worst flooding in over a century
  • Dzeko has just won English Premier League title with Manchester City
  • Bosnia will make debut at World Cup in Brazil next month

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- Edin Dzeko is a man on a mission -- and it's not just about winning the World Cup.

Bosnia's qualification for Brazil 2014 created joyous scenes on the streets of Sarajevo as 50,000 people turned out to celebrate last October.

Its players have become heroes and will travel to South America hoping to do the nation proud on its debut on the world's biggest football stage.

But any thoughts of World Cup success have been placed on hold following the worst floods in the Balkans region for over 120 years.

"I think it's important for the people, for the world, to know this is not a game," Dzeko, who has appealed for help on Twitter, told CNN.

"This is something serious. So many people have lost their lives, lost their homes.

"They were trying to build something for themselves and for their kids over the past 20 years and they've lost it just like that."

The floods have wreaked destruction on parts of Croatia and Serbia too, while Bosnian president Bakir Izetbegovic confirmed to CNN that the flooding has left billions of dollars worth of damage.

At least 13 people have died during the natural disaster in Bosnia, while there have been deaths in Serbia too.

"I want the whole world, not just the people in Bosnia and Serbia, to know," added Dzeko, who plays for English Premier League champion Manchester City.

"If anyone could help Bosnia and Serbia in any way, it would be amazing."

While Dzeko has taken to social media to ask for help, humanitarian organizations have begun to arrive.

The Red Cross estimates around 50,000 people throughout the country are without safe water and electricity, while it claims "many are living in unsafe and insanitary conditions created by the floods."

A state of emergency has been declared in 14 municipalities, according to the Red Cross, while landslides have caused havoc.

The World Food Program has already announced plans to send enough aid to help 150,000 in Bosnia's most-affected areas.

One of the most damaged sectors of Bosnian trade is its crop production, and the recent floods have left farms and agricultural land decimated.

"This country is brutally destroyed by nature," said Zlatko Lagumdzija, Bosnia's minister of foreign affairs. "The landslides are absolutely destroying the country. We have registered up to 2,000," he said.

One of the biggest problems Bosnia is now facing is the displacement of warning signs and mines around the deadly minefields which remain from the war.

And while Dzeko and his teammates are ensconced within the relative calm of their training camp in Sarajevo, the players are fully aware of the destruction which has been wrought upon their homeland.

"Everyone is talking about it," the striker said.

"I think that's the main thing here. Unfortunately, what happened has happened.

"We just hope that this will not go further in a bad way and hope that from the next days and months will just be getting better and better.

"The help is coming from all over the world and if there could be more that would be appreciated a lot."

Dzeko has enjoyed a successful season, helping Bosnia qualify for the World Cup while leading Manchester City to the Premier League title.

The 28-year-old scored 26 goals in all competitions and won plenty of admirers for his performances -- including Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho.

Mourinho told British media that he felt Dzeko should have been named player of the year in England instead of Liverpool's Luis Suarez.

"When you hear something like that from one of the best managers in the world then I have to say I am very proud of myself," Dzeko said.

"I did some good things in the past and thanks to Jose Mourinho that he thinks like that.

"I said it before, when you get compliments from one of the best managers in the world, you want to be even better and it gives you some power and more confidence to do better in the future."

Read: Fears over landmines surfacing

Read: What is causing Balkans weather misery?

Part of complete coverage on
Keep track of the social buzz at Brazil 2014 with CNN's Facebook Pulse -- find out who the world is talking about.
updated 6:49 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
It needed 120 minutes to separate the best two teams on the planet, but Mario Gotze's sublime strike gives Germany a fourth World Cup title.
updated 8:34 PM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
After 64 games, some huge shocks and 171 goals scored, now it's time to play fantasy football -- who would you pick in a World Cup dream team?
updated 6:55 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Germany won the World Cup, but these stats suggest that the host nation came top of the table at Brazil 2014 -- despite a crushing semifinal defeat.
updated 8:14 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Bare bellies, an on-pitch streaker, world leaders and superstar selfies -- the World Cup final had it all.
updated 7:32 AM EDT, Tue July 15, 2014
Having crushed home hopes of success, Germany prevents Brazil's worst nightmare by beating the World Cup host's South American rival in final.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of watching the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players to watch at Russia 2018.
updated 5:37 AM EDT, Mon July 14, 2014
Stay informed with results of the latest World Cup matches and the full schedule for the month-long tournament in Brazil.
updated 9:42 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
In the sight of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer, the man who would be king awaits his destiny.
updated 1:15 PM EDT, Sat July 12, 2014
Germany's semifinal demolition of World Cup host Brazil in Belo Horizonte is the game that seemingly everyone can't stop talking about.
updated 7:25 AM EDT, Fri July 11, 2014
One of the joys of the World Cup is seeing relative unknowns come to the fore. Here are 11 players who have made their mark at Brazil 2014:
updated 12:04 PM EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
You thought Brazil's home humiliation was bad? Check out the greatest shocks in World Cup history...