Nebojša Čović

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Nebojša Čović
Nebojsa Covic Cropped.jpg
Čović at an SDP press conference in June 2006.
Deputy Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
25 January 2001 3 March 2004
Prime Minister Zoran Đinđić
Zoran Živković
Preceded by Spasoje Krunić
Succeeded by Miroljub Labus
Prime Minister of Serbia
In office
12 March 2003 16 March 2003
66th Mayor of Belgrade
In office
23 June 1994 21 February 1997
Preceded by Slobodanka Gruden
Succeeded by Zoran Đinđić
Personal details
Born (1958-07-02) 2 July 1958 (age 62)
Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia
Political party SPS (1990–1997)
DA (1997–2004)
SDP (2004–2010)
Alma mater University of Belgrade
OccupationPolitician, businessman
ProfessionMechanical engineer

Nebojša Čović (Serbian Cyrillic : Небојша Човић; born 2 July 1958) is a Serbian businessman, basketball executive, and former politician. He currently serves as the president for Crvena zvezda.


Early years and education

Čović was born in Belgrade, PR Serbia, FPR Yugoslavia, and graduated from the University of Belgrade's Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. In 2000, he obtained his PhD at the same university.

Political career

In 1992, as a member of the Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), 34-year-old Čović started his climb up the political ladder with a position of executive board vice-president in charge of economy and finances at the Belgrade city assembly.

A year later, in 1993, he advanced to the position of the city government president. In 1994 he got elected as the Mayor of Belgrade. In parallel, Čović was the SPS deputy (MP) in the Serbian National Assembly. Čović was sacked from the mayoral post in mid-January 1997 by the Serbian president and SPS party leader Slobodan Milošević amid the months-long protests in Serbia over the November 1996 municipal elections fraud. [1] He was expelled from SPS on the same occasion.

He became the president of Democratic Alternative (DA) after the party got formed by a certain number of SPS members seceded from SPS in July 1997. [2]

Čović served as the head of the Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija and as the head of the Southern Serbia Coordination Center during Preševo Valley conflict (1999–2001). [3]

From 24 October 2000 to 25 January 2001 he was a member of the trio Co-Prime Ministers together with Milomir Minić from SPS and Spasoje Krunić from the Serbian Renewal Movement (SPO) that transitionally governed Serbia after the Bulldozer Revolution, when Mirko Marjanović was sacked. After the assassination of Zoran Đinđić, he was the acting Prime Minister of Serbia from 12 to 16 March 2003. [4]

In 2004, his party Democratic Alternative merged into the Social Democratic Party (SDP). In 2005, he became president of the Social Democratic Party. The party ceased to exist in 2010. [5] [6]

He has been charged for corruption in January 2016. [7]

Sports administration career

FMP Železnik (1991–2011)

In 1991 Čović became involved with Serbian basketball club KK ILR Železnik, a dormant sports collective for the workers of state-owned Ivo Lola Ribar metallurgical factory. Inactive since 1986, the club got revived by Čović under the auspices of his privately-owned metal products factory Fabrika metalnih proizvoda AD and renamed FMP Železnik. Under his guidance and ownership, the club grew into one of the top teams in Serbia and FR Yugoslavia, developing a reputation for player development and quality work with younger categories.

By 1993, the club got its own basketball facility – the 2,000-seat Železnik Hall that served as its home arena form then on. Climbing rapidly up the basketball pyramid in FR Yugoslavia, FMP began the 1994–95 season in the Second Federal League, winning promotion to the country's top basketball competition for the following 1995–96 season.

In 1998, Čović brought former Yugoslav national team player Ratko Radovanović on board as the club's sporting director. Radovanović soon became synonymous with the emerging club, making player personnel decisions and running its day-to-day operations.

Čović's son Filip later played as point guard for the club.

Yugoslav Basketball Federation (1995–1997)

In late 1995, while simultaneously performing the city of Belgrade mayoral job as well as Serbian National Assembly MP duties, Čović became president of the Yugoslav Basketball Federation (KSJ), succeeding Veselin "Vesko" Barović in the job. In addition to Čović's political connections through SPS, the rapid success of his club FMP Železnik that was about to start competing in the country's top league that season after multiple promotions was the best possible recommendation for the job.

At the time when Čović came on board to lead the federation, FR Yugoslavia national team led by Duda Ivković were the reigning European champions, having returned to international competition following a four-year exile due to the UN embargo. Ivković soon stepped down and his assistant Željko Obradović took over the national team head coaching job. The national team had a great run at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, reaching the final against the American Dream Team composed of NBA players. In early 1997, soon after Čović's fall from grace in SPS, he was removed from the KSJ job as well.

See also

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