It is the final friendly match for the team before the EURO 2016 kicks off. For the first time, the national team will appear at the Rujevica Stadium in Rijeka, but the question is what kind of the welcome will be there for the team?
As the team is at the peak of the EURO preparations, on June 4, 2016, Croatia will host San Marino in Rijeka. The national coach, Ante Čačić, has said that he plans to use as many players as possible, and will try to find the right pick for the defensive line. As we wrote before, here is the question of choosing opponents for preparation matches, as we cannot see how the weak San Marino team will challenge the Croatian defensive line.
The game was announced with a hot topic of Croatian football, as the Team Captain, Darijo Srna, pleaded to the fans to restrain from chanting the slogans which caused so many fines and penalties for the Croatian team. He also called upon them to obey the law. Another point to be made; the Croatian Football Federation has named Joe Šimunić as assistant coach to the national team, the man suspended by FIFA for chanting the same slogans. Not to be forgotten is the fact that the CFF has not obeyed the current Sports Act for months now.
“Uvijek Vjerni”, the association of Croatian National Team supporters put out a statement calling on responsible forces in the country to stop the current nonsense and help the Croatian Team, as there is a very real danger of the team’s expulsion from international competitions.
On the other side, “Armada”, Rijeka’s supporters group has published its official announcement, stating that they will not organize support for the team tonight, adding a strong message to it; “Death to CFF!”. They have called upon their members to restrain from bringing the Armada insignia to the stadium tonight. Also, they explained that while the support for Croatia is unquestionable, but support for what they call “the football mafia” is out of the question.
In this awkward atmosphere, the team will play against San Marino with kickoff scheduled for 20.15 CET. It is expected that Luka Modrić and Mateo Kovačić will play one half each, as they recently joined the team. Šime Vrsaljko, the right back, should be starting at left back, as Mr. Čačić wants to try all options available.