It was pretty much a football week in Croatia, and once again it was all about off-pitch events
Last week was quite eventful in Croatian football, with some controversies, some good news, some big changes, sad news, and just a few matches. We bring you the review of last weeks events on April 4, 2016.
It all started on Monday, with the win by Croatian U21 team against Estonia, showing once again the gap between sport talent in Croatia and the lack of competence by officials governing the sport in the country. After the Dinamo’s youth team was thrown out of the Youth Champions League for the clerical mistake, a similar event repeated with the U21 national team, as one player appeared in the match, although he was not listed for the game.
Some good news for the CFF was announced as one of the biggest football magazines has voted Croatian football kit as the most beautiful in Europe. Compliments to the official supplier as it is mostly their success, little to do with the Federation itself. As for the competence of the Federation marketing, we tried to buy some in Split and found just a couple of stores selling it. One would expect CFF to make the most of it and promote this much better than they did.
Changes in Hajduk got most of the media over the weekend, as big changes happened in the leadership of the club. President Marin Brbić was relieved of his post, and his closest coworkers resigned. It was interesting to watch the change in the sentiment of the influential media covering those events, as before this it was almost an unanimous opinion that the leadership of Hajduk is incompetent. After they left, they changed their mood and started praising Mr. Brbić and co. for their success. It has been proven once again that Hajduk is a magnet for sensational headlines, but as “Our Hajduk” association has pointed out, it is simply the proof of democratic changes Hajduk has been experiencing over the last five years.
We tried to prank you on April Fool’s day reporting that Zdravko Mamić was invited to the meeting of Hajduk leadership with the Mayor of the city of Split, but even for the naive ones, it was too impossible, especially as we wrote about his readiness to help Hajduk with its financial problems. Mr. Mamić has too many of his own problems to waste time on Hajduk.
Those problems include Croatian football fans, with a vast amount of them boycotting the national team for as long as it is led by current federation leadership and Mr. Mamić particularly. The football federation has announced the schedule for the national team friendlies preceding the EURO and the decision once again showed the lack of respect for the fans. The matches will be played in the stadiums of small capacity, so it seems that the officials are actually avoiding the supporters.
Hajduk’s supporters community has lost its most iconic member, as Mr. Žan Ojdanić has tragically died in parachuting accident on Saturday. His death was commemorated by spontaneous gathering in the north stand of Poljud Stadium, and by Torcida watching the City derby in silence for the first 45 minutes of the game. They came to the match wearing black, and Hajduk officials, including Mr. Burić have followed their example.
And to talk about some football itself, we had to wait for “El Clasico” to be played, and the best Croatian football players have left their mark on the game Real won in Barcelona, with Luka Modrić being praised for his contribution in the match.