Dinamo Players Get in Holiday Spirit, Collect Money for Unpaid NK Istria 1961 Players

Daniela Rogulj

Dinamo Zagreb and the gift of giving. 

Ahead of the match with Cibalia this afternoon, Dinamo footballers decided to collect money to send to their colleagues in Istria. Players from the Istria 1961 club have not received a salary since the beginning of the season, reports Index.hr on December 16, 2017. 

As is well known, Istria 1961 is undergoing great financial stress and their fate of finishing the season in the Croatian First League is in serious question. The first team has already let go of many players after they did not receive salaries for months, and some will leave as early as this weekend, the end of the mid-season. 

The players of Istria have spoken publicly about the problematic situation in the club, and for away matches, they travel without a kuna in their pocket. Despite the crisis, the Istria players continue to do their best on the pitch and have achieved essential points from their place at the bottom of the ladder – they even secured a point against Dinamo.

Istria’s struggle has also been spoken about by Croatian footballers, many of whom have been in similar situations. Just this week, players of Dinamo, in agreement with players in Istria, organized a collection of funds for their rivals in Pula to give them something to look forward to this holiday season.

This undisputed action was explained by the captain of Dinamo, Arijan Ademi, who has also invited all Croatian footballers in a position to help to follow his lead in assisting the Pula club through their most difficult moments.

“Our intent is very clear. We have decided to help our friends who are in trouble and there is no background here. I do not want anyone to understand this as a favor, but solely by the act of solidarity and collegiality. We are following what is happening in Pula and I’m sorry that the players of Istria, who are neither guilty nor liable, found themselves in this situation. I think it is not normal that someone who is doing their job honestly has to be hungry and have no basic living conditions,” said Ademi, and continued:

“I want to emphasize that this idea was brought into our dressing room and as the captain of Dinamo, I invite all the players from the other clubs in our league to do the same thing, according to their capabilities. The least we can do at this point is to give to our colleagues and friends from Istra 1961 and give their families a chance to spend the holidays with dignity.” 

It will be interesting to see what other Croatian First League players join the action, and if any players from abroad decide to help as well. 

Istria 1961 club owner Michael Glover announced the arrival of a new owner two months ago, but after another failed investor story, he published a public call for the purchase of shares in Istria this week. 

Translated from Index.hr


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