NK Osijek President Suggests National Stadium Funded by Diaspora

Daniela Rogulj

The President of NK Osijek suggests a different approach to Croatia’s potential national stadium. 

In the aftermath of Croatia’s intense fan euphoria for their World Cup finalists, talks of constructing a national stadium have not slowed down, either. While the Croatian Football Federation has discussed the new national stadium be in Velika Gorica, perhaps one of the key people Davor Šuker & Co. should speak to about its conception is Ivan Meštrović, the president of NK Osijek, reports Index.hr on July 23, 2018. 

To the press on Monday, Meštrović proposed that the construction of the national stadium is financed by the diaspora as a monument to the exodus of the Croatian people.

“One of the solutions would be a Crowdfunding campaign for the Diaspora to build a national stadium as an interactive monument to displaced Croatia. Imagine a transparent web platform where every donor family is visible, every story about the departure of their ancestors from Croatia is recorded, the distance of their present home from the stadium mentioned. And all that is printed on a seat where someone will sit and read it. Also, an interactive 3D rendering of the stadium where you can find a seat by the last name with a story, the place they left in Croatia or the place they went for a new life,” said Osijek’s leader. 


Ivan Meštrović – an advocate of a commercial model of construction that would be tied to a major state-owned company – compared his idea to Arlington, a military cemetery where American soldiers are buried.

“It would be a sort of Arlington for the Croatian people and the sad fate of them, as they have been displaced from the most beautiful country in the world for centuries. Unfortunately, this will be a monument not only of the past, but of the present, as this unfortunate trend exists today. I am also part of the Croatian diaspora. And I will be the first to donate funds for such a national stadium. The capacity could be 35-50 thousand seats, and each chair, therefore, is a story of the exodus of our people. This monument would be a unique monument to a tragedy, in the service of sport and national unification through sporting achievements. Something unique,” concluded the advisor to HNS President Davor Šuker, adding that “the Croatian diaspora is the biggest investor of the Republic of Croatia since independence to now.”


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