August 20, 2019 – Davor Šuker, the president of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS), may not see the end of 2019 in that role.
According to a top source from HNS, Croatian media reported that Šuker was turned down by members of the Executive Board who rejected his proposal to remove Nenad Gračan as the coach of the Under-21 national team, and replace him with Goran Tomić, the current coach of Lokomotiva, writes Index.hr and 24 Sata.
All 12 HNS Executive Board members said “no” to Šuker’s proposal. Marijan Kustić is expected to take Šuker’s spot, as he has been destined for that position since he first started working in Croatian football.
Former HDZ MP Marijan Kustić joined the Croatian Football Federation quietly as Damir Mišković’s candidate for president of the Federation in the election Šuker won at the time. But from day one, it has been clear that Kustić is a strong political figure, Plenković’s man for special tasks like Lika, where he fought for power with Darko Milinović, and was also the leader of the political project that is returning the Croatia national team to Split.
It quickly became apparent that Kustić was assuming the role of the top operative in the Federation, where Šuker was only the president on paper.
Marijan Kustić was the most prominent member of the HNS delegation who arrived to negotiate with Hajduk, and who said that major changes were taking place in Croatian football. Namely, it was inconceivable that the official premises of Poljud were once again friendly to Damir Mišković, Ante Kulusić, Ante Vučemilović and everyone else that made Hajduk boycott the Federation.
Of course, Davor Šuker, the actual HNS president, was the only one not to visit Poljud.
Recall, Davor Šuker returned to Croatian football as Zdravko Mamić’s candidate in the scandalous elections for the president of HNS in 2010, when Vlatko Marković became a fictitious president, while Mamić was the absolute boss. Igor Štimac was his opponent, and the night before the election, Mamić pulled out Šuker as an ace up his sleeve. In his Bentley, Mamić brought Šuker to the polls as a special HNS guest.
Davor Šuker remains the president of HNS to this day, but his influence is diminishing as Damir Mišković and HDZ strengthen. Meanwhile, Šuker was stripped of his ability to sign major financial contracts by the Executive Board, which was also a sign that he did not rule the Federation any longer.
More on this story soon.
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