Hajduk, City of Split, and HNS Meet: National Team WILL Play at Poljud

Daniela Rogulj

June 24, 2019 – Hajduk, the City of Split, and HNS held a historic meeting at Poljud to discuss, among a laundry list of items, the Croatia national team’s arrival in Split for the first time since 2015, and just the third time in 20 years. 

The City of Split and the Croatian Football Federation met on Monday at 10:30 at Poljud Stadium in Split. The City, as the majority owner of the stadium, invited representatives of HNK Hajduk to the meeting. The central theme was, of course, the Euro 2020 qualifier between Croatia and Hungary on October 10, though equally as important was mending the relationship between Hajduk and HNS to better Croatian football for good. 

Eight HNS representatives came to Split, including Executive Director Marijan Kustić, and Vice Presidents Damir Misković and Ante Kulušić. The President of HNS, Davor Šuker, did not attend the meeting. Hajduk’s delegation was led by Marin Brbić and the City of Split by Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara. The police secured the meeting, and in total, 16 people participated.

The meeting did not end until almost 4 pm and Split Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara was the first to address the media. 

“I am very pleased to announce that at today’s meeting, HNS was able to agree with many of Hajduk’s requests. We want to finally solve the problem of non-communication between HNS and Hajduk in favor of Croatian football and football in southern Croatia. I look forward to hosting the Croatia national football team in Split,” said Andro Krstulović Opara.

“I look forward to continued cooperation. I look forward to the Croatia national team at Poljud.”

Hajduk president Marin Brbić addressed the media next. 

“I’m pleased to say that we finally started communicating with HNS. We will discuss each issue individually. We’ve always wanted the national team here. Today we felt a hint that something might change. The national team was never disputed, and we will continue to monitor the development of the situation.

We had a good, quality meeting. It will take time to solve each item, but it is important that there is a will and desire. I look forward to the arrival of Hungary in Split in cooperation with the City, and we will work to include Hajduk.”

Hajduk will not participate in the organization of the match, and will join the moment problems begin to resolve, Brbić added.

Recall, Hajduk said on Saturday that “without any concrete changes in relations with HNS, they will not change their attitude” and will not participate in the organization of the match.

The City of Split, as the majority owner of the stadium, unanimously voted at last week’s City Council session to host the match in Split, but with a preliminary apology from the top of HNS.

The HNS Executive Committee at its session on June 12 decided that the Euro 2020 qualifier between Croatia and Hungary would be played at Poljud, but failed to inform Hajduk or the City of Split of their decision, which questioned the game happening in Split at all.

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