World Cup Fan Zone in Split Investigated by FIFA

Daniela Rogulj

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The World Cup Fan Zone in Split, where the 2018 World Cup matches were streamed, allegedly did not have a FIFA license, forcing the umbrella organization to investigate the unauthorized use of their brand within Strossmayer Park. Namely, Đardin this summer was decorated with FIFA’s official mascot and advertised logos of companies that did not have any contracts with them.

Behind the project is the famous entrepreneur Damir Karaman, whose “Naša balatura” association was granted the larger part of Đardin for more than a month – and was awarded not only without a contest but also completely free of charge. Not only that, but the project was also provided financial support of up to 120,000 kuna, reports Slobodna Dalmacija on November 6, 2018.

The World Cup Fan Zone in Split was not approved by FIFA, says the HNS spokesperson

“FIFA did not approve of the public streaming of matches in Split. We also confirm that the necessary measures were taken during the 2018 World Cup in Russia to stop unauthorized commercial connections with FIFA and the tournament,” confirmed the Croatian Football Federation spokesman Tomislav Pacak in Geneva, who said that all organized public streams of matches and the like need to be pre-approved by applying through the FIFA website.

In April, Mayor Andro Krstulović Opara signed a conclusion on the sponsorship of the “Fan Zone”, which was declared a “sports event” because, as he explained, it “contributes to the promotion of sports, recreation, and tourism with its content and goals”.

The World Cup Fan Zone was provided a one-time financial allowance in the amount of 120,000 kuna

In addition to a jumbo screen showing the World Cup games, the “Fan Zone” had DJs, several wooden tables and bars with outrageous drink prices – and two days before the semi-final against England on July 5th, a new conclusion was signed for “Naša balatura” which provided a one-time financial allowance in the amount of 120,000 kuna. 

Karaman did not answer phone calls regarding the issue yesterday, and the Split City Administrations claims that his association was the only one to apply for the “Fan Zone” project via the public tender published by the City in conjunction with the Split Sports Association.

The City said the “Naša balatura” was the only application for the World Cup Fan Zone project 

“The Applicant fulfilled all the terms of the tender and was included in the Split City Sports Program for 2018, and the project was co-financed in the amount of HRK 120,000. It is not stipulated in the circumstances that the applicant should submit a certificate issued by FIFA with a live broadcasting license,” the City said. 

“Naša balatura”, therefore, used several hundred square meters of Đardin for more than a month, from June 13 to July 16, completely free of charge. Given that the price of using public space in this zone is 150 kuna per square meter, it is clear that the actual support they received measured in the hundreds of thousands of kunas. 

“The mayor may, in the interest of the City, directly allocate a public area up to 60 days free of charge. The decision on leasing public space owned by the City of Split does not prescribe the invitation to tender for sports, humanitarian and similar events that are in the interest of the City, therefore, it has acted in accordance with the applicable regulations. It is also determined by the competent Sports Service that it is a public event which, with its content, goals, number of participants and importance, can contribute to the development and promotion of a specific area, both of national or international importance, so the City of Split was the sponsor of this event,” said the Split City Administration. 


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