Coronavirus in Croatian Football: Rijeka and Istra Without Fans, Lokomotiva Limiting Spectators

Daniela Rogulj

March 10, 2020 – A closer look at how the coronavirus outbreak is effecting Croatian football.

Following the announced measures of the Croatian Civil Protection Staff from March 9, the relevant bodies of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) issued instructions for playing football matches in the following period.

The following instructions have been determined by the leadership of the Croatian Football Federation, headed by President Davor Šuker and Executive Director Marijan Kustić, HNS Executive Board, HNS Medical Commission with President prof. Dr Dragan Primorac, HNS Competition Commission led by President Ante Vučemilović-Šimunović, Commission of Football Referees with President Anto Kulušić, HT First League Competition Commissioner Josip Brezni and HNS Security Commissioner Miroslav Marković:

1. It is obligatory to adhere to all decisions, measures and recommendations which he has prescribed and which will be prescribed by the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia or other competent state institutions.

2. Considering the HNS competition calendar, all competitions under the HNS’s jurisdiction shall continue with or without spectators.

3. Match organizers are obliged to fully respect and implement the measures of the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia.

4. We emphasize the obligation of the organizers to obtain the consent of the County Civil Protection Headquarters and the competent Institute of Public Health regarding the fulfillment of the prescribed conditions for the organization of the match before the matches.

The Croatian Football Federation will continue to closely monitor the situation with the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and will, if necessary, determine new measures and issue new instructions, which will be notified to the football family and the public promptly.

In accordance with the recommendation of the Civil Protection Staff, the opinion of the County Institute of Public Health of Istria County and the decision of the Croatian Football Federation to continue the competition, Istra 1961 announced that its 27th and 28th round HNL games, scheduled on March 14 and 21, will be played without spectators.

On Saturday, March 14, Rijeka will visit Pula to play Istra, while a week later, Hajduk will visit Aldo Drosina Stadium.

“Both games will be played without the presence of spectators and there will be no ticket sales,” the first-league team from Pula said.

The Istrian Institute of Public Health on Tuesday issued special recommendations to prevent the coronavirus epidemic, which, among other things, delays all outdoor and indoor gatherings, from children’s events and birthdays, to sports, cultural, business and other events.

The Istra decision was only the first since Rijeka and Varazdin later came forward. Both have suspended ticket sales for their next home games.

Varazdin will host Dinamo on Sunday, March 15, and three days later, Rijeka will host Osijek in the Croatian Cup semi-finals. Both Varazdin and Rijeka have stopped selling tickets for those duels.

Lokomotiva will host Osijek at Kranjceviceva stadium on Friday from 6 pm.

‘According to the published measures of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, NK Lokomotiva, as the host of the match, will adhere to the maximum extent and implement all instructions, measures and recommendations regarding the organization of the match by the County Civil Protection Headquarters and the Institute of Public Health.

The maximum number of viewers will be 1,000.

NK Lokomotiva will provide checkpoints with disinfectants and urges viewers to refrain from the usual non-verbal communication that involves shaking hands and avoiding closer social contact.’

The club also urges fans with respiratory illness and/or fever (greater than 37.5 C) not to attend the match.

Tickets are purchased exclusively at the stadium ticket office on the day of the match, two hours before the start of the meeting (from 4:00 pm). 

Hajduk will play against Inter Zapresic at Poljud on Sunday at 3 pm as part of the 27th round. It is the first of two championship matches to be played in front of the empty stands because of the penalty that HNK Hajduk received for violations committed during the Hajduk – Dinamo match played on March 4.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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