Chaos after Hajduk Split Drops Out of Europa League, What’s Next?

Daniela Rogulj

July 18, 2019 – It was the biggest embarrassment for Hajduk Split in their long history of the Europa League. After a 0:2 victory against Gzira United in Malta, Hajduk managed to lose 1:3 in the return match of the first round of the Europa League qualifiers, in front of over 18,000 of their fans at Poljud stadium in Split. 

Hajduk’s Europa League campaign this season is now over. An outcome not even the most pessimistic Hajduk fan could have anticipated. 

Hajduk fan group Torcida charged the pitch after the game and chased after Hajduk players before the police intervened. An incident in the West Stands also broke out, and dozens of seats were pulled from the North Stands and thrown onto the pitch. It was bound to be an ugly night in Split. 

Hajduk coach Siniša Oreščanin made questionable decisions with the lineup on Thursday, as if the victory in Malta was enough to carry the team through so they could prepare for their first Croatian League match against Istria. What a mistake that was in the end. 

At the Hajduk press conference after the game, which didn’t begin for nearly an hour after the final whistle blew, the Gzira coach – as well as 99% of journalists in the room – was in shock. 

“I can’t believe we did this against a big club like Hajduk,” the Gzira coach expressed. 

While his reaction was expected, we couldn’t imagine how Oreščanin would explain this defeat. 

“We went into the first half well, but our mindset fell in the second half, and we conceded two goals after interruptions. No one expected this,” said Oreščanin. “That’s sport; it will go on.” 

Answering a German journalist’s question of what he has to say about the fan reaction after the game, Oreščanin responded briefly: “That’s Hajduk.” 

Whether Oreščanin will resign is still unknown, as he revealed he would need to speak to the club first and take the next steps accordingly. 

Hajduk will open the Croatian First League against Istria on Sunday, though the atmosphere around the club is looking anything but bright. 

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