Rasim Ljajić has spoken out in defense of national team footballer Adem Ljajić, by saying he had "made a mistake when he refused to sing the Serbian anthem".

"He certainly made a mistake, but instead of helping him find his way out of it, a hysterical reaction is taking place to destroy a sporting career," Rasim Ljajić said.

The cabinet minister and leader of the SDPS party and the footballer both hail from Serbia's southwestern Raška District, known informally as Sandžak, and both are ethnic Bosniaks (Muslims).

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