UEFA Rejects Part of Maksimir Stadium for Upcoming Nations League Game?

Daniela Rogulj

Did UEFA reject the upper West stands of Maksimir stadium for Croatia’s upcoming Nations League match against Spain?

Media close to the Croatian Football Federation has released some worrying news: the Federation will not sell tickets to the upper part of the West stands at Maksimir stadium for the Nations League match, to be played on November 15 between Croatia and Spain, because it did not pass the UEFA inspection?

At the same time, however, Dinamo is able to sell tickets as normal for the same area for their Europa League match against Trnava (November 8th), and claims that there was no issue with the UEFA inspection, reports Index.hr on October 31, 2018. 

HNS Director of Infrastructure claims there has been nothing from UEFA 

Meanwhile, HNS has softened the story for the media, and Director of Infrastructure Marijan Kustić claimed to Index.hr this morning that there have been no negative ratings from UEFA, though everyone is well aware that the upper West stands of Maksimir require additional efforts regarding organization and security.

This is a rather mild statement by Kustić, because anyone that has ever been in the last row of the West stands knows that it is an extreme venture, from the time you enter and exit the match.

Maksimir stadium, which is also Croatia’s only ‘true’ national stadium, is a symbol of many years of heavy corruption and an architectural eyesore on the outskirts of the city – and according to rough estimates, about one billion kuna needs to be invested. The staff has even warned spectators specifically about the broken parts of the stands for years!

As we know, the Croatian Football Federation does not usually sell tickets for the upper West stands, but claims that they can open the forum at any time – and especially if they sell all other seats in the stadium. This was the case against Greece for the World Cup playoffs last year. 

Yet, they still admit that UEFA has objections, and argue that this is a sanitary problem. Anyway, it seems this problem HNS wants to bypass.

Has anyone from the Federation released information that the upper West would not be on sale due to UEFA objections and delegates reports – which allegedly were different from Dinamo’s report, even though the same person wrote it – or that UEFA does not know what to do with Maksimir, where, because of years of reinforced construction, not even the WiFi could work?

“There is no ban to open the stands, but it is well known that it is not the most comfortable area and that it is necessary to provide various things for sanitary and safety. If necessary, we can open the upper West stands and we will open it if other stands are sold out. I do not know that UEFA banned the opening of any stands, that’s not true, but I think they have objections to the East stands for a Dinamo match – maybe something isn’t clear in the delegate reports,” said the Director of Infrastructure of the Croatian Football Federation and the head of the Lika HDZ, Marijan Kustić.

Dinamo claim they have no problems with UEFA 

Dinamo argues that any normal person would not open the stands if there was a safety hazard.

“As normal all stands are open for Dinamo matches and we have no problems with UEFA,” said the club.

The upper West stands were functional for Dinamo’s European matches against Fenerbahce and Young Boys, as well as a year ago when Croatia played against Greece.

Inquiries about the delegation reports on Maksimir’s West stand were sent to UEFA and will be published immediately upon receipt.


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