December 11, 2019 – The first conference titled ‘All Faces of Sport’ was held on Tuesday at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Zagreb. Croatia national football team coach Zlatko Dalic was one of the participants.
“Everything we invest in sports will repeatedly come back to us through better citizens’ health and greater productivity at work,” the first conference revealed, which was held on Tuesday at the Croatian Chamber of Commerce, reports Index.hr.
“The successes of our athletes in major competitions are disproportionate to the size and population of our country, and if we had as many talented business people as we did athletes, what would our end be,” said the Croatian Chamber of Commerce President Luka Burilovic, welcoming the conference participants.
Along with several prominent figures from Croatia’s economic and sports life, the conference was also attended by the coach of the national football team, Zlatko Dalic, who emphasized that we made little use of the great success at the World Cup in Russia.
“After the big words and the euphoria of winning second place in the world, we almost did not achieve anything after that, because not only are we nowhere near the construction of a national stadium, but today many tourists at Zagreb Advent can’t buy the recognizable checkered jersey anywhere,” Dalic said and concluded that the biggest gains of the World Cup success are the unity of the people and that several young people have started playing football.
Croatian Olympic Committee President Zlatko Matesa said Croatia does not need a national stadium but a functioning football stadium.
“We have national stadiums in Split, Rijeka, Osijek, Pula, Varazdin, Zagreb and all other cities where the football team plays, and we must use the funds from Europe to build sports infrastructure, as Slovenia did,” Matesa said, emphasizing that the halls that were built for the 2009 World Cup in handball are rarely used for sports purposes and are repaid from the funds intended for sports.
Mayor of Split Andro Krstulovic Opara said that Split boasts the title of “the sportiest city in the world and the surrounding area”, and allocates 93 million kuna or nine percent of the budget for sports, while the city of Zagreb allocates 11 times more.
Finance Minister Zdravko Maric said that as much as the state invests in sports, it will never be adequate for all the benefits we receive from sports.
“This government has doubled its funding for sports, which will exceed 400 million kuna in the Olympic year. I am aware that by the percentage of allocations we are among the poorest in Europe. Still, nevertheless, we have much more reason to look forward to the success of our athletes than the citizens of countries that are much more dedicated to sports,” concluded Minister Maric.
The chairman of the Zagreb Holding Board Ana Stoic Deban said that the company looks after 160 sports facilities.
“The Maksimir stadium is still far from being built and we will first get new pools in Spansko, Dubrava and Salata in Zagreb, because all the pools have the necessary documentation and contracts for contractors and are in the final stage,” said Stoic Deban.
The Vice President of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce and one of the organizers of the conference, Mirjana Cagalj, emphasized that sport at the European level generates more than two percent of the GDP and that Croatia is still far from that average.
“We must invest in sports infrastructure, but also to provide a sufficient number of professional people for the development of sports as an industry,” Cagalj said.
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