Croatia National Team at Poljud this Autumn? “First Step is to Sit Down and Talk”

Daniela Rogulj

June 12, 2015 – the date that marks the last time the Croatia national football team touched the pitch at Poljud. The infamous swastika spotted during Croatia’s Euro 2016 qualifying match against Italy then shocked the world, and the thought of the Dalmatian capital hosting the national team no longer crossed the minds of the Croatian Football Federation. 

However, as nearly four years have passed, discussions about Split hosting the national team are back on the table, which is not terribly surprising, considering Maksimir stadium is in shambles, and Croatia’s other stadiums in Osijek and Rijeka are too small for the crucial Euro 2020 qualifying games. Modrić & Co., the 2018 World Cup finalists, could return to Split this autumn, which has been confirmed by the top of HNS, reports on April 4, 2019. 

The Split audience could welcome the Croatia national team at Poljud at the end of the year, at least as far as newcomer HNS executive director Marijan Kustić is concerned. 

“I said that it would be nice if we got revenge on Hungary in Split,” Kustić said to Dnevnik Nova TV. The Euro qualifying match against Hungary is scheduled on October 10th.

Hajduk was asked to comment on Kustić’s latest announcements, though they expressed that they have nothing new to say about this topic. The Split club pointed out that their candidacy to host the matches against Hungary and Slovakia was sent to HNS in December, but they have yet to receive an official response.

Kustić replied. 

“Well, I know that first and foremost some conditions need to be met before the game itself is organized, so, first of all, I think we have to sit down at the table. I deeply hope that it will come soon, that we will sit with the representatives of the City of Split and, of course, the leaders of Hajduk.”

Recall, along with their submission to HNS, Hajduk sent a request for a meeting in Split with his where the club will present their proposals to improve the work of the Federation. They also included eight conditions for Hajduk’s more active engagement in other HNS-related activities. You can read more here

“There is a sincere desire from the Croatian Football Federation, and I am sure that people in Dalmatia, of course, want the team in Split.”

But what do the people of Split think?


Why not?

“I have no idea, in short: I do not follow the team.”

Another Split citizen thinks differently:

“Let them play; why not? It is the national team, where else would they play but Split?”

The President of the Split-Dalmatia County Football Federation even had his say on the issue.

“There is an intent by HNS, which you can see from Mr. Kustić’s statement, and I think that Hajduk has nothing against the conversation. So, the first step is to sit down and talk,” concluded Marko Erceg, NS president of Split-Dalmatia County.

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