Football in Crisis: Dear Croatian Fans, by

Total Croatia News

Ahead of tonight’s crunch World Cup qualifier in Kiev, popular Croatian sports website,, published a passionate call for change to the troubled state of Croatian football on October 8, 2017 on its Facebook page. The post is published in full below. Your thoughts? 

It is now 100% obvious to me that the Croatian National football team has entered its darkest time in history – and that they must allow themselves to hit rock bottom as a way to protest the situation.

Croatia has guys that not only play regular Champions League ball, but also play for the best football teams in the world: Real Madrid, Barcelona, Juventus, Liverpool, Monaco, Atletico Madrid, Inter Milan; to name a few.

And when they play for their club teams, they play with pride, grace, and with a certain je ne sais quoi that we haven’t seen this year when they put the checkers on.

I feel this team has been silently protesting the HNS and it’s puppet master Zdravko Mamić with half-effort performances in 2017.

They are silently protesting because there is a cancer in the HNS that must be defeated before the team can take advantage of the talent they currently have.

The hardcore fans in Croatia, including BBB, Torcida and Armada, have known this for years. They have known the HNS has been poisoned by a madman at the helm.

This madman is making villains out of our heroes.

Croatian footballing legend and current HNS President Davor Šuker went from hero to villain almost overnight after accepting the presidency. Captain Luka Modrić changed his testimony in court for Mamić and was immediately crucified by the public. Anything Mamić touches turns into a disaster.

While certain groups of fans have protested in the recent years including flares at San Siro vs. Italy in qualifying, flares and small explosives vs. Czech Republic at Euro 2016, a swastika on the field at Poljud, it is now my belief that Croatia’s “A” squad, the best Croatia has to offer, the guys recognized by football fans around the world need to walk off the field and not play against Ukraine.

Mamić has dragged too many of them through the mud, and this is how they can fire back and let the fans around the world know what the truth is.

The blame game needs to stop. The coaching carousel needs to stop. Our own fans throwing flares at our players at tournaments needs to stop. It’s embarrassing.

We can all agree that the 1-0 loss to Iceland in June started a snowball effect of negativity with the team which lasted through the summer. There is no excuse for a team of this caliber to lose 1-0 to both Iceland and Turkey, draw Finland at home and scrape by Kosovo 1-0. The players are not happy and not giving 100%. That is evident.

If our players are okay with losing, then they need to go all the way and walk off the pitch, midway through the match Monday in Kiev.

The entire world would see a team full of superstars walk off the field, just one win away from making the playoff round for a World Cup bid.

Walking off the pitch would illustrate Croatian pride and courage.

Modrić, Rakitić, Mandžukić and crew are professionals who have been around the block. They have all been part of clubs that are run successfully and know how to win; and they know the difference between good and bad business. The Croatian team is now run by bad business, which the players are aware of, but they still keep coming back because wearing the checkers means the same to them as it does to you and I.

A madman has kidnapped our checkers, our identity, our talent, and our hearts. And we must take it back from him in the same way General Gotovina was able to successfully reclaim land taken by our enemy during wartime.

Mamić will never give our checkers back. They have to be taken from him. Our players are the only ones with the leverage to stand their ground and not back down. If they do, they will empower everyone else necessary to reclaim our checkers and our pride.

So to you, Croatia’s most loyal fans, I say:

Separate yourselves emotionally from this team. For now. Because the players have already done so.

I just wish they would take one more giant leap and refuse to play on Monday.


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