Monday, 8 August 2022

SuperSport HNL Round 4: Bad Weekend for Dinamo, Osijek, and Rijeka

August 8, 2022 - The SuperSport HNL 4th round was held from August 5 to 7, 2022. This round was without the originally scheduled Hajduk and Gorica match, as Hajduk requested a postponement due to Conference League obligations. And it wasn't a good weekend for Croatia's top clubs, Dinamo, Osijek, and Rijeka. A look at SuperSport HNL round 4. 

Varazdin v. Dinamo (1:1)

Varazdin and Dinamo opened the 4th round in Varazdin on Friday, August 4, in front of 7,132 fans. Dinamo went into the match coming off of a 2:1 win against Ludogorets in the Champions League qualifiers earlier in the week. 

The Croatian champion was the first to score with a goal from Spikic just before the ref blew the whistle to end the first half. But former Hajduk player Sego made sure they didn't stay ahead, scoring the equalizer in the 63rd minute for 1:1 and the final result. 


Varazdin is currently in 8th place with 4 points, while Dinamo sits in first with 10 points. 

Slaven Belupo v. Sibenik (0:0)

Belupo and Sibenik met in Koprivnica on Saturday, August 5, in front of 473 fans. 

The match was uneventful, displayed in the 0:0 final result. 


Belupo is currently in 5th place with 5 points, while Sibenik is in 4th with 5 points. 

Istra 1961 v. Osijek (1:0)

Istra and Osijek met on Saturday, August 6, in Pula. 

Tensions are already high among Osijek supporters who have been calling for coach Nenad Bjelica to be sacked. Losing to Istra on Saturday did not help. 

Istra scored first in the 62nd minute when Bakrar found the back of the net, though his goal was ultimately called offside after consulting VAR. But that didn't stop Bakrar from killing Osijek's hopes again with a goal in the match's final minutes (90+4') for the 1:0 Istra win. Coach Bjelica has yet to resign, nor has he been asked to step down as coach by the club. 


Istra is currently in 9th place with 3 points, while Osijek is in 6th with 4. 

Lokomotiva v. Rijeka (3:1)

Lokomotiva and Rijeka closed out the 4th round on Sunday, August 7, in Zagreb. 

Lokomotiva took the lead in the 14th minute when Gorican scored for 1:0, and Cokaj made it 2:0 just five minutes later. Karrica gave Rijeka some hope in the 34th minute scoring for 2:1, but Vasilj settled all doubts about the winner with Lokomotiva's goal in the 79th minute for the final 3:1. 


Lokomotiva is currently in 3rd place with 6 points, while Rijeka is in 7th with 4. 

Hajduk v. Gorica (Postponed)

Hajduk asked to postpone their 4th-round match against Gorica due to Conference League obligations. After beating Vitoria at Poljud on Thursday 3:1, Hajduk plays the return match against the Portuguese club on Wednesday in Portugal. Hajduk has played only two rounds in the SuperSport HNL thus far, as Rijeka postponed their 2nd round match against Hajduk due to Conference League obligations. 


As it stands now, Hajduk is in 2nd place with 6 points and only two games played, while Gorica is in the last place with 2 points and three games played. 

You can see the HNL standings here

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 8 August 2022

Realities of a Female Football Journalist in Croatia: The Good, Bad, and Not So Ugly

August 8, 2022 - What's it like being a female football journalist in Croatia? A look into my life for the last 5 years. 

It all started when a former colleague told me I'd never see a press pass for Croatia national team games. Well, it actually started well before that.

I was born with a love for football and likely kicked my way out of the womb. My family history probably has something to do with it.

My grandfather was a sports journalist in Split for Slobodna Dalmacija in his early 20s and friends with many Hajduk players at the time. After swapping Split for NYC in 1958, he became one of the top football referees in New York and worked the line during Santos v. Benfica at Yankee Stadium in 1968. In other words, Pele v. Eusebio. My dad was the ball boy and met the entire Santos team in the locker room, including Pele, who signed his match program. And that wasn't my grandpa's only time reffing Pele, either. 


A few years later, my grandpa was chased down the streets of New York by the unhappy fans of a local Italian club. I guess they weren't pleased with his decisions during the match. The incident even prompted Split's most famous journalist (and my grandfather's dear friend), Miljenko Smoje, to write about it in Slobodna Dalmacija.

"If Miro wanted to get chased by fans, he should have stayed in Split."

My dad went on to play football, attended the 1974 World Cup in Germany as a fan, and was a coach in San Diego. He and my grandpa raised a team of players in my small hometown of Fallbrook, developing their talents from the ages of 10 to 18. It was only a matter of time before I swapped ballet shoes for Copa Mundials. 

My football career started at the age of six, playing recreational soccer for a team called the 'Spiders.' Often seen dancing on the pitch and confusing my ballet talents with what I was meant to do with a ball, I ultimately had to choose between ballet or soccer. Soccer won primarily because of the friendships I had made at the time. In ballet, everyone was looking out for themselves. 

I played competitively in San Diego from that point on, with practice three times a week, tournaments every weekend, and parents who had to sacrifice any free time they had. It took me to the Gothia Cup final in Sweden, Varsity all four years of high school, and friendships that turned into sisters to this day. 

Opting out of playing in college, my football career ended at 17, opening space for other things - like moving to San Francisco. But my love for football never dwindled, and I never missed a Hajduk match at Poljud during my summer visits to Croatia or cheering for the national team in the Euros or World Cup no matter where I was and no matter what time the games were. 

Fast forward to 2015. I move to Croatia, can attend every Hajduk home match of the season, and catch the Croatia national team playing around the country during international breaks. This was heaven. One year later, I joined Total Croatia News as the editor of Total Split. The sports editor position had already been filled, but we decided that I would write about specific events, which was how I eased my way in. I took over as Sports Editor in 2017 and told myself I would make the most of it. 

I had been writing about sports for maybe a month or so, getting my bearings around handball, water polo, and other sports I wasn't all too familiar with. What I knew was football, and what I wanted to write about was football, but I had to grip the ropes of all sports to justify my place in this role. Croatian athletes also excel in almost everything, meaning I had much to learn. 

The Croatia national team had a World Cup qualifier against Ukraine in Zagreb that March, which made me think: "Why couldn't I attend as a journalist?" Considering my new role and all. I sent a message to my colleague and asked if he knew about the protocol for applying.

"I wouldn't even bother - you'll never get a press pass for Croatia games." 

Okay, that was encouraging. I knew I was young (26 at the time), a woman, and new to this whole thing, but to shut someone down so quickly was not something I'd stand for. I found out how to apply through HNS, did, and waited for a reply. I was an accredited journalist at my first official international football match on March 24, 2017. 



The season press pass for Hajduk came shortly after that, and I covered my first Europa League campaign between Hajduk and Everton - at Goodison Park in Liverpool and Split. I was maybe in over my head covering my first away match, considering it was Wayne Rooney's Everton at the time. While I will never forget the euphoria amongst the fans of your club in another city, the feeling inside a Premier League stadium for the first time, and watching Nikola Vlašić against Rooney, what really got me was the return match a week later.



I nearly fainted in the press box when Radošević scored a screamer against Everton at a sold-out Poljud. It had never been louder. And not advancing past Everton didn't matter. From that moment, there was no turning back. 

I wanted to be a football journalist. 

Later that year, Croatia continued their World Cup qualifiers. After an unimpressive 1:0 against Kosovo at a flooded Maksimir (so flooded that the game had to be stopped and finished the next day), the next match was the one that mattered, and Croatia needed a win against Finland.

The match ended 1:1 at Rujevica, forcing coach Ante Čačić's sacking and Croatia's fate at the 2018 World Cup uncertain. It was as if the life was sucked out of Rijeka, and Croatia, that night, though it was the draw that changed it all. And likely the most depressing post-match press conference I have attended. 


But there was hope when the relatively unknown Zlatko Dalić came in to save the day, winning 2:0 away against Ukraine and pushing Croatia into the World Cup qualifying play-off against Greece. Croatia was going to the World Cup, and the chaos of writing through these qualifiers certainly took a few years off my life. 

As I was still quite new at this, I didn't expect to get a press pass for Russia, and looking back; I would not have wanted to be anywhere but Split that summer of 2018. But I definitely was not prepared for what was in store. 

Okay, the World Cup is a big deal. Still, considering Croatia's rather frightening display in the qualifiers, I don't think Croatia fans expected too much - and with tensions still high between Hajduk fan group Torcida and HNS, many were hesitant to get too excited in Split. "Maybe that'll take off some of the pressure," I thought. And then Croatia beat Argentina 3:0.

I knew I had to prove myself on the international stage reporting about the World Cup for Total Croatia News, as it was the biggest tournament I had covered thus far. Getting your fingers to type fast enough when covering these matches live is hard enough, but it's another thing when your country is at stake and you owe a quality match report to the enthusiastic Croatian diaspora, even during those nail-biting extra-time finishes and penalty shootouts. How I survived that, I'll never know. 

But there was another layer to my football journalism that summer - radio interviews. 

Given TCN's non-stop coverage of Croatia at the World Cup, coupled with Croatia's impressive play and Modrić and Lovren's fresh perjury charge in the Mamić case, all eyes were on Croatia that summer. And being one of few covering Croatia at length in English, my phone started ringing - especially once Croatia was matched up against England in the semi-final.

I thus became the Croatian correspondent for several radio stations in the UK that summer, one of which is the largest sports radio station in the world - talkSPORT. I counted over 20 radio interviews once all was said and done and Croatia became the 2018 World Cup finalist. I realized just how important it was to be a native English speaker and football journalist in a foreign country - especially when you're on the international stage.

Later that year, I had my first star-studded press experience at Wembley Stadium, when England gained revenge on Croatia in the UEFA Nations League, and even went into the TalkSport studio in London to recap the match.




2018 ended with an interview request from BBC. And a year after that, I interviewed THE Mark Bosnich in Sydney, Australia. 

Covering football during the pandemic was not nearly as fun, but being amongst the select few allowed at a stadium when the ban on fans was still in force definitely brought necessary excitement to staring at the walls of your house. 


And seeing Cristiano Ronaldo in action on Hajduk territory holds a special place in my heart. 


As Nations League continued, so did qualifiers for the 2020 Euros, which Croatia clinched at Rujevica Stadium against Slovakia. With the tournament postponed by a year and a press application process that had to be repeated multiple times due to tournament delays, I wasn't feeling too confident that I'd be attending this one. But less than a month before the tournament began, I got the email: 

CONFIRMED: Accreditation Request for UEFA EURO 2020

And I was off to cover my first international tournament. 


With the tail-end of the pandemic making it an absolute nightmare to make this happen, I persisted. After vaccinations and repeated Covid tests, exemptions from UEFA needed even to enter the UK, and QR codes necessary to grab a bite in London and Glasgow, I was one of few Croatian journalists that endured a Covid-riddled EURO 2020, covering Croatia from London to Glasgow and Copenhagen. And I was one of few women journalists at all. 


The round of 16 match against Spain was undoubtedly the highlight, especially when a fan launched a full beer at my laptop after Croatia took the game to extra time at Parken Stadium. While I could have lost my job had my laptop died and I couldn't finish writing about that game, I would have left the Euros satisfied.

And while international football has given my career an unexpected boost, the best football experiences are the ones at home, at Poljud Stadium. Especially when you witness Hajduk win their first trophy since 2013, in the Croatian Cup final, just a few months ago. 


What has being a female football journalist in Croatia taught me?

That anything is possible in Croatia, so long as you put your mind to it, especially when you love something as much as I love football. If you're passionate enough about something, it will show in your work, which will ultimately be recognized. In my case, my passion brought me to an international stage that 26-year-old Daniela would have never believed possible. Now, if I get a press pass for the World Cup in Qatar this year...



Secondly, being a woman in a man's world is empowering. No matter which match I attend in Croatia or around Europe, I am always one of few women, if not the only, reporting from the press box. I have not been treated differently, nor have my opportunities been any different. The radio shows prove that - and TalkSport even called me a Croatian football expert. Even with my silly Californian accent. 


And finally? Don't listen to your colleagues. At least when they tell you that you can't do something. You should always set out to prove people wrong. Football, especially, has that effect on people. 


To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Monday, 8 August 2022

Hvar Fire Still Burning, Man from Jelsa Dies

August 8, 2022 - The major Hvar fire continues to burn, with one man from nearby Jelsa tragically killed, reports

The fire that broke out yesterday around 1 pm on the island of Hvar between the towns of Dol and Vrbanj has not yet been extinguished.

Ten hectares of dense pine forest have burned, and at one point houses were also threatened. One local man died while trying to save the machine from the fire. The man was from Jelsa, although his identity has not officially been made public yet. 

During the morning, new forces are expected to arrive from Split, with the help of which the fire should be brought under control today.

The commander of DVD Hvar Nikola Škare told Hina last night that the fire is not yet under control considering that it is still burning on the western side.

The fire broke out at 12:50 in the area of ​​Dol-Vrbanj on Hvar, where a dense pine forest caught fire. At one point, the fire came close to the houses, as a result of which one local tried to save the excavator, and died.

The firefighters, who at one point numbered 55 with 15 vehicles and all of them from the island, were also helped by the air force. At one point, three Canadairs and two air tractors were fighting the fire.

Fire near Dubrovnik under control, burning on Velebit
Shortly before midnight, a forest fire broke out below the town of Gornji Brgat near Dubrovnik. Members of the Public Fire Brigade Dubrovački vatrogasci and the Dubrovačka Parish DVD came to the intervention.

Despite the strong storm, the fire was brought under control after 1 hour and the peripheral parts are being repaired.

At the same time, two fires are burning on Velebit for the seventh day, on Panos hill near the settlement of Rizvanuša and near Lovinac on Mali Golić, and the danger of spreading is increasing due to occasional explosions of residual mines and a strengthening storm.

More information, photos and videos on this Hvar fire from yesterday's report.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Frano Ivkovic Wins 307th Sinj Alka, Third Victory in 8 Years

August 7, 2022 - Frano Ivkovic has won the 307th Sinj Alka, winning the prestigious tournament for the third time.

Ivkovic achieved the victory at the 307th Alka after a double pinning, collecting nine winning points. He was the winner of the jubilee 300th Alka in 2015, and he also took the prize-winning flame to the 304th Sinjska Alka in 2019.

In the first race of the Alkar competition, 17 Alkar spearmen hit only 19 shots, and only Ivo Zorica was above average with a shot in the smallest circle.

The town band of Sinj, which is celebrating its 160th anniversary this year, played more often in the second race, in which Mihovil Zupa, Kristijan Bikic, Frano IvkoviC and Frano Talaja scored three points each.

After Bara and Coja, the rematch also happened at Alka, where Alkars with six points each fought to the end - Bikic, Zorica and IvkoviC. Bikic missed in the first round, Zorica and Ivkovic each won a pin, and Ivkovic secured the title with a "two" shot in the second round.

Mario Susnjara, the Duke of Alkar, tied a flame to the spear of the winner as a sign of victory at the 307th gathering. 

The Duke of Alkar, newly elected by the Assembly of the Knights of Alkar in April, said that since the magnificent victories of the people of Sinj over the Turks in 1715 and the Homeland War in 1991, a lot had happened, highlighting Croatia's entry into NATO and the European Union and the connection between the north and the south by the Peljesac Bridge.

He warned, however, about the emigration of the population. "There are fewer of us. Slavonia, Lika and Krbava, Primorje and Dalmatia remain desolate. Young people are leaving and building other countries," he said, warning that all our achievements will be in vain if we are left without people.

He called on all citizens, especially politicians, businessmen and scientists, to join forces, do their best and stop negative demographic trends.

The President of the Republic of Croatia, Zoran Milanovic, who is Alka's patron, at the end of the competition, wished the winner whom he presented as a gift, to win in the future.

Alka was accompanied by the state leadership, but also at the invitation of President Milanovic, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, which is the first time that a president of another country has come to Alka.

Original article in Croatian here.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Canoeist Anamaria Govorčinović Takes World Silver and Bronze in Canada!

August 7, 2022 - Croatia's best canoeist Anamaria Govorčinović, who won the silver medal at the World Championships in Halifax, Canada, on Saturday, finished third in the 1000 meters race on Sunday, adding bronze to her medal collection from major competitions!

The current 2021 European runner-up distributed her strength brilliantly and tactically rowed the race in which Australian Alyssa Bull won the world champion title, completing the course in 4:27.65 minutes. Hungarian Eszter Rendessy won the silver 1.31 seconds behind the winner.

Anamaria Govorčinović stayed in fifth place until the halfway point, but when approaching 250 meters from the finish line, she moved into third place and managed to defend her spot until the finish. Govorčinović came in 5.96 seconds behind the new world champion. 

Govorčinović became the world runner-up in the 500-meter race on Saturday. 

Croatian canoeist Vanesa Tot returns from the World Championships in Halifax with sixth place in the 500-meter singles race and eighth in the 200-meter race. The Croatian Olympian from Slavonski Brod only had half an hour to rest between the two races on Sunday. She first started in the 200-meter race, and when she realized she could not compete for a better finish, she decided to save some strength for the 500-meter race. 20-year-old American Nevin Harrison was named the world champion in the 200-meter race for the second time in her career. She also won the Olympic gold last year in Tokyo. Tot was 3.37 seconds behind Harrison. In the dead race for silver, Spaniard Maria Corbera beat Lin Wenjun by one-hundredth of a second. Wenjun thus settled for the bronze medal. 

The new 500-meter world champion is Ukrainian Ljudmila Luzan, who finished behind Vanesa Tot in the 200-meter race. Canadian Sophia Jensen took silver, 87 hundredths of a second behind the winner, while Chilean Maria Maillard took bronze (+2.09) and finished fourth in the 200-meter final. In her second competition, Vanesa Tot was also in the fight for fourth place but ultimately crossed the finish line in sixth place, 7.51 seconds behind the winner.


To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

"Supermarket of the Future" Exhibition to be Staged in Zagreb on 6-11 Sept

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - From 6 to 11 September, Zagreb's Putolovac Gallery will host "Supermarket of the Future", a Dutch food design exhibition that explores whether the grocery stores we know today will still exist 30 years from now and what they will sell.

Meat without animals, milk without cows, getting drunk without alcohol and dinners via Zoom already exist and are part of the huge food transition that questions our use of foodstuffs, production technology and culinary habits, the organisers said in the announcement of the exhibition.

The exhibition showcases the results of research into the role of design in the present food system, including applied design, speculative visions of the future and a wide range of food design projects for a better world.

On display will be works by food designers from all over the world, including prominent Dutch food designer Marije Vogelzang, Taiwanese speculative designer Kuang-Yi Ku, and Greek artist Louise Zahareas.

The exhibition, curated by Chloé Rutzerveld and Annelies Hermsen from World Design Embassies, is presented by Zagreb Design Week and the Dutch Embassy. It premiered at the latest Dutch Design Week.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

PM Plenkovic Announces Lower Fuel Prices as of Next Week

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković has announced further cuts in fuel prices as of next week.

The price of Eurosuper 95 petrol will be reduced from HRK 12 to 11.30 per litre, Eurodiesel will cost HRK 12.14 per litre, and blue-dyed diesel HRK 8.50, Plenković told reporters during a visit to the southern town of Sinj on Sunday.

"This is good news for all drivers. Prices of petroleum products are falling," the prime minister said.

Asked to comment on the latest accusations from Serbia in the context of the 27th anniversary of Operation Storm, Plenković said that so many insults and primitive outbursts could be heard in the last two weeks and that they sounded as if they had been made 30 years ago. He described statements by Serbian government officials as shameful and told them "to mature because that would be good for them and for everyone in Serbia's neighbourhood".

(€1 = HRK 7.5)

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Most Croatian First-Time Mothers Aged over 30

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Maternity hospitals in Croatia reported 36,346 deliveries in 2021, with 36,991 children born, of whom 36,854 were live births and 137 stillbirths, the Jutarnji List daily said earlier this week, quoting a report by the Croatian Public Health Institute (HZJZ).

The report confirms some of the trends in the last decade, including the fact that the age of first-time mothers has been moving upward, that more and more babies are delivered by C-section and that the number of births among girls under 14 has been dropping.

The report shows that 33.71% of new mothers were aged 30-34, as many as 20.05% were aged 35-39, while 28.11% were aged 25-29. The good news is that there were only three births by women aged 14 or under, says the daily.

The number of younger adult women who became mothers in 2021 was 466, as against 752 five years ago.

Experts say that the fact that more and more women give birth for the first time after the age of 30 is due to the longer time needed for education, later employment, as well as the inability to solve their housing problems, and changes in society's attitude to family.

It is nonetheless worrying that fewer and fewer women opt for motherhood at the biologically and medically optimal age. In parallel with the increase in the age of first-time mothers, the number of couples who seek medical help because of infertility has been growing as well.

The age of first-time mothers has seen a significant increase since 2016, while in the years before 2016, most first-time mothers were aged 25-29.

One of the indicators of medical development is the share of live births by women above 35 in developed countries, including Croatia. For example, in 1995 that share was 9.16%, and two years ago, it was 23.58%, similar to Slovenia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria.

The HZJZ report also confirms a trend of a decreasing number of miscarriages and increasing number of C-section deliveries. In 2021, 25,719 women had a spontaneous vaginal delivery, while 10,016 or 27.6% gave birth by C-section.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Plenković and Medved Visit Homeland War Veterans Rehabilitation Centre in Sinj

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Minister for Veterans' Affairs Tomo Medved visited the Homeland War Veterans Rehabilitation Centre in the southern town of Sinj on Sunday.

The construction of the Centre cost HRK 56.3 million (€7.5m), and equipment will cost HRK 5.3 million (€707,000). The 130-bed facility is expected to be equipped by October.

Medved said that about 30 people would be hired to work at the Centre and that the selection process was underway.

He said that construction works on similar centres in Daruvar and Petrinja were nearing completion, and that hopefully they would be finished by the end of the year. 

The Homeland War Veterans Rehabilitation Centre in Sinj was built with EU funding. HRK 339 million (€45.2m) was invested in the project and 85 percent of this amount was granted by the EU.

The Rehabilitation Centre in Sinj will be one of four such centres in Croatia, along with a recently opened one in Šibenik and the two being built in Daruvar and Petrinja.

Plenković and Medved are due to attend the 307th Sinjska Alka lancing tournament in the afternoon.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Croatia Logs 743 New Coronavirus Cases, 12 Deaths

ZAGREB, 7 August, 2022 - Croatia has registered 743 new COVID cases and 12 related deaths in the past 24 hours, the national COVID response team reported on Sunday.

There are now 7,272 active cases in the country, including 628 hospitalised patients, 28 of whom are on ventilators, while 3,933 people are self-isolating.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in Croatia, a total of 1,193,298 people have become infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, as a result of which 16,401 have died, while 1,169,625 have recovered, including 1,464 in the last 24 hours.

To date, 59.58% of the total population, or 70.85% of adults, have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 68.82% of adults have been vaccinated twice.

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