Monday, 28 September 2020

International U-16 Football Tournament "Vlatko Markovic" Held in Osijek

September 28, 2020 - Croatia is the winner of the second International U-16 category football tournament "Vlatko Markovic", held in Osijek over the weekend.

In the final match, the young Vatreni overcame their peers from Romania with a convincing 4:0 result and thus ascended the throne. Tomislav Rukavina's team did not concede a goal during the tournament and reached the final with victories against Qatar (3:0), Montenegro (2:0), and Bulgaria (1:0). Goals in the final against Romania were scored by Marko Cukon (26th), Marin Prekodravac (33rd), Lovro Zvonarek (57th) and Luka Dudukovic (65th).


Slobodan Kadic

"We did what we announced and expected as hosts, the guys deserve all the praise, not only for the presentations on the pitch but also for the overall behavior during all the days of the tournament. We are really very satisfied, this generation is very high quality and with a lot of dangerous players. If they develop properly, we will have a great generation again," said coach Rukavina for HNS.

Nemanja Poznanovic (Croatia) was chosen as the best goalkeeper of the tournament, Joseph Banda (Zambia) was the best scorer, and Rocco Zikovic (Croatia) was the best player.


Slobodan Kadic

"We expected to win the tournament because we knew we were by far the best team. We proved that on the pitch as well, so I am satisfied with how we played this tournament; we can be proud of each other. More than anything, I am glad that we have shown that together we can achieve a lot," concluded the best player of the tournament and captain Rocco Zikovic for HNS.


Slobodan Kadic

The Osijek tournament was organized with the support of Fifa's Forward program and is named after Vlatko Markovic, one of the most prominent people in the modern history of Croatian football - former player, coach, selector, football employee, and honorary president of HNS, who led the Croatian Football Federation from 1998 to 2012.


Slobodan Kadic

The Osijek final was attended by Davor Suker, president of the Croatian Football Federation, Zorislav Srebric, senior presidential advisor, Ante Vucemilovic Simunovic, vice president of HNS, Petar Krpan, chief instructor and Aljosa Asanovic, instructor for the diaspora.

Final standings: 1. Croatia, 2. Romania, 3. Qatar, 4. Zambia, 5. Bosnia and Herzegovina, 6. Bulgaria, 7. North Macedonia, 8. Montenegro.

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Friday, 28 December 2018

St. Catherine Hospital to Launch Genetic Screening of Footballers

The St. Catherine Hospital, the official hospital of the Croatian national football team, and the Croatian Football Federation have begun, for the first time in Europe, a project of systematic screening of risk groups of football players to determine frequency of the most common genetic mutations that can lead to sudden cardiac death of athletes, announced the Croatian Football Federation on December 28, 2018.

The sudden cardiac death is a tragic event which occasionally happens at sports venue which opens up a series of questions among both the general public and professionals, such as "How can this happen to seemingly healthy and successful athletes" and "How to prevent such sudden events?"

The fact is that extremely intense physical activity can temporarily increase the risk of sudden cardiac death in predisposed athletes. Medical literature suggests that due to increased physical activity, athletes have a 2.8 times higher risk of sudden cardiac death compared to the general population which does not take part in sports activities. Particularly significant is the fact that genetically-based illnesses can cause such a dramatic event. Because of this, the medical professionals, in addition to introducing thorough clinical exams of athletes, have recently started recommending the introduction of targeted genetic testing, primarily because they can point to an existing genetic predisposition on time.

With the Cardio Screen "multi-gene panel testing" during the pilot project, 77 genes and related mutations that can lead to sudden cardiac death of athletes will be analysed simultaneously. These conditions include, among others, various disorders of the heart's electrical activity, including inherited disorders of the ionic heart canals (e.g., prolonged QT interval syndrome) or, on the other hand, structural changes in the heart, such as cardiomyopathy (most often hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), as well as many other conditions. When it comes to cardiomyopathies, sudden cardiac death unfortunately often occurs before any previous symptoms appear, so any diagnostic data that can reduce the frequency of such incidents is highly important.

The Croatian Society for Sports Medicine of the Croatian Medical Association, in connection with the systematic exams of athletes and in line with the views of the American Heart Association, the European Society of Cardiology and the International Olympic Committee, has issued guidelines for the scope of athletes’ examinations and have emphasised that "it is of particular concern that most athletes with undetected cardiac issues have no symptoms, and the only way to prevent sudden cardiac death is primary prevention involving an electrocardiogram. If there is any suspicion about heart disease, further examinations should be performed, including heart ultrasound, ergometry, 24h Holter monitoring, heart MRI etc.” It goes on to say that “today, genetic testing of deceased athletes is becoming more common so that we can get more information about these disorders in order to prevent sudden deaths in the future better.”

The goal of the St. Catherine Hospital and the Croatian Football Federation’s project is to use the genetic screening of athletes belonging to risk groups (athletes with a concerning personal or family medical history, athletes with specific findings after a clinical examination, athletes with previous episodes of weakness or excessive fatigue, athletes with unexplained loss of consciousness and chest pains, etc.) to find athletes with specific genotypes that contain typical mutations responsible for the emergence of these unexpected and tragic events. On the other hand, according to the guidelines of the Croatian Society of Human Genetics of the Croatian Medical Association, all persons who have been determined to be persons with higher risk will be provided with information as part of their genetic counselling process, in identifying the risk and after further examinations. This will provide the basis for optimal treatment and, if necessary, exclusion from the sports of under risk athletes all with the aim of reducing the incidence of sudden cardiac deaths.


“It is my pleasure to cooperate with our official hospital, the St. Catherine Hospital, the European centre of excellence, and to carry out for the first time in Europe a systematic genetic screening of football players. With this, we demonstrate that we can be leaders in a number of processes, like introducing new diagnostic tests, all with the aim of providing our athletes with the best possible health care,” said Davor Šuker, the president of the Croatian Football Federation.

“The sudden cardiac death is the leading cause of death in athletes, and every new diagnostic step is significant in preventing such unexpected and tragic events that leave a deep mark in every society. A large number of cardiovascular diseases that can lead to sudden cardiac death, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or various heart electrical activity disorders, have a genetic basis. This naturally suggests the need for timely genetic screenings, especially with risky groups of athletes, which will lead, together with standard clinical treatments according to the guidelines of the European Society of Cardiology, to optimisation of treatment and providing recommendations related to further sports activities,” said Dragan Primorac, the president of the St. Catherine Hospital’s management council.

More news about the St. Catherine Hospital can be found in our Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Croatia’s 1998 World Cup Bronze Medal Offered at Auction

An auction house using the The Saleroom platform has made an offer for the sale of one of the bronze medals which the Croatia national football team won at the 1998 World Cup in France, reports Večernji List on November 20, 2018.

“World Cup 1998 France. Winner medal Croatia - Official winner medal of the Croatia team for coming third at the World Cup in France 1998. Coupe du monde de la FIFA France 1998. Bronze on original tricolor silk ribbon. Manufacturer Bertoni. 5 cm. There were only 30 copies of this medal. Absolutely rare, extra fine,” says the description of the medal.

There are only 30 such medals, and it is not known who of the bronze generation national team members has decided to offer his medal for sale.

The auction house guarantees the authenticity of the offered medals.

The starting price for the medal is 7,500 euro, and the auction will be held on December 7 and 8.

Miroslav Ćiro Blažević, who was the manager of the national team in 1998, commented on the sale. “I do not believe that one of my players would sell it because they are all well-off. Maybe it has been stolen, but you never know. I have not heard about this news before, but it is certain that the seller will not remain anonymous, such things always leak in the end,” said Blažević, adding that he recently had a burglary in his apartment, but that the thieves did not steal his medal. “To be honest, everything has its price so I would sell it for good money,” he added.

Athletes sometimes donate their medals for various charity events, but they are very rarely offer for sale at auctions.

“I have donated a lot of my stuff for charity drives so far, but I would never give my medal,” said Blažević.

Players at the 1998 World Cup team were: Dražen Ladić, Petar Krpan, Anthony Šerić, Igor Štimac, Goran Jurić, Slaven Bilić, Aljoša Asanović, Robert Prosinečki, Davor Šuker, Zvonimir Boban, Silvio Marić, Marijan Mrmić, Mario Stanić, Zvonimir Soldo, Igor Tudor, Ardian Kozniku, Robert Jarni, Zoran Mamić, Goran Vlaović, Dario Šimić, Krunoslav Jurčić, Vladimir Vasilj

Miroslav Blažević was the manager, and he was assisted by Branko Ivanković, Ivan Katalinić, Marijan Vlak, Luka Radman, Mladen Čepulić, Boris Nemec, Tomislav Vrbnjak, Bojan Radanović, Željko Mesić, Mladen Pilčić, Zorislav Srebrić, and Darko Tironi.

For more on Croatia’s national football federation, click here.

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Minister: National Football Stadium Necessary as Soon as Possible

ZAGREB, July 18, 2018 - Croatian State Assets Minister Goran Marić said on Wednesday that building a national football stadium was necessary and that this must be done as soon as possible.

Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Two Possible Locations for Future National Football Stadium?

No one knows who will pay for the new national football stadium and where it will be built, if it ever is.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

Documentary on Croatia’s 1998 World Cup Team Presented

ZAGREB, May 20, 2018 - “Vatreni”, a documentary film directed by Edson Ramirez, was presented at the Kaptol Boutique Cinema. The Mexican director tells the story of Croatia's national football team and its journey to the bronze medal at the 1998 World Cup in France.

Friday, 9 March 2018

Croatian Football Federation Fined for Split Stadium Swastika

ZAGREB, March 9, 2018 - Croatian Football Federation (HNS) executive president Damir Vrbanović has been fined 5,000 kuna pending appeal as the responsible official and the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has been fined 50,000 kuna as the responsible legal person and organiser of a football match played between Italy and Croatia in Split in June 2015 over a swastika on the turf.

Monday, 9 October 2017

Football in Crisis: Dear Croatian Fans, by

Ahead of tonight's crunch World Cup qualifier in Kiev, popular Croatian sports website,, published a passionate call for change to the troubled state of Croatian football on October 8, 2017 on its Facebook page. The post is published in full below. Your thoughts? 

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Croatian Football Federation Accuses Media for Waging “Special War”

Croatian Football Federation president Davor Šuker is not satisfied with the way media covers his organization.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Croatian Football Federation Against the New Sports Law

Croatian football chiefs unhappy with new law.

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