Thursday, 3 September 2020

Euro Qualifiers: Croatia U-21 Squad Tops Greece 5:0 in Varazdin

September 3, 2020 - The Croatia U-21 national football team remained in the game for a spot at the 2021 European Championship after toppling Greece 5:0 in Varazdin, inflicting their first defeat in the group.

Goals for Croatia were scored by Nikola Moro (1), Lovro Majer (5, 24), and Petar Musa (14, 52).

After recording two defeats in the first four rounds, and two home defeats at that, the Croatia U-21 national team did not have the chance to take Greece lightly.

The young Vatreni started the qualifying cycle for the European Championship with home defeats to Scotland and the Czech Republic and away victories against San Marino and Lithuania. There was a several-month break due to the coronavirus epidemic, and the continuation of the qualifications brought perhaps two key matches. The first against Greece has been settled, and in four days, Croatia is expected to play against the leading Czech Republic.

After coach Igor Biscan tested positive for the coronavirus and the entire professional staff ended up in self-isolation, the team was led by the main instructor of the Croatian Football Federation, Petar Krpan, and the coach of the Croatia U-17 side Tomislav Rukavina. While Biscan was the brains behind the composition, Krpan and Rukavina executed flawlessly.

The match was essentially over already just 24 minutes in as Croatia went up by four goals.

Croatia took the lead in the 45th second of the game. Sosa pulled up the left side and pushed into the middle; the ball bounced to the edge of the penalty area where Moro scored fantastically for 1:0. Just four minutes later, it was 2:0. Moro curved the ball into the penalty area where Majer headed in for the second goal. In the 14th minute, Musa was among the scorers, assisted by Spikic. Majer completed an incredible 25 minutes with his second goal on Sosa's assist.

In the continuation of the match, the rhythm dropped as expected, and the only goal was in the 52nd minute. Erlic ideally found Musa, who went around the goalkeeper Antonios Stergiakis and scored in an empty net.

With this victory, Croatia broke through to the third place of the group with nine points from five matches. Greece has a point more, while the Czech Republic is in the lead with 14 points from six matches.

The winners of nine groups and the five best second-placed teams will qualify directly for the Euros.

Source:  HRT

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Tuesday, 1 September 2020

HNS Releases New Croatia Uniforms for Nations League and Euros

September 1, 2020 - The Croatian Football Federation has released the new Croatia uniforms to be worn at the upcoming Nations League matches and the Euros next summer.

"Croatian football is a term for pride, passion, skill and those irresistible checkers, all of which can be seen in the new, dynamic Nike collection that the Croatia national team will wear in the upcoming cycle, which includes the European Championship next summer," announced HNS on Tuesday.

In the new collection, the traditional home jersey features the large and striking world-famous Croatian checkers. The traditional red and white jersey again has checkers on the sleeve of the jersey. The logos of HNS and technical partner Nike adorn the front of the jersey, with the number located in the center, while a blue line runs down along the torso side.

The words "Croatia" and "Vatreni" are printed inside the jersey as a symbol of pride, and white shorts and red socks complete look. The same words can be found on the new pre-match warm-up shirt with a modern design with two shades of blue and an unusual square pattern.

"Croatia is always a great inspiration to Nike because of the strength of its identity," said Scott Munson, vice president of Nike's football department. "The new home jersey is faithful to Croatian football heritage, while the reserve jersey is another great interpretation of Croatian design for players and fans."

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HNS

The 2018 World Cup finalists get a fresh look on the reserve jersey, which has abstract black and gray checkers extending throughout the jersey and also appear on the socks. The Federation's coat of arms, the red line, and other red details give this jersey a special look.

"I like the new jerseys, I think they will suit us very well," said captain Luka Modric. "The first jersey is a classic design with a modern touch - and those striking checkers I remember from the time I watched the national team as a boy. The reserve jersey is new, different, and exciting, something we haven't had before."

The new jerseys are available on nike.com from September 1, and the entire collection is available from September 4 in all Nike stores and its partners.

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Monday, 31 August 2020

Plenkovic Wants Coronavirus Red List To Take Counties Into Account

ZAGREB, Aug 31, 2020 - Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic said on Monday that he would talk with Slovenian PM Janez Jansa about putting counties and not countries on the coronavirus red list.

Plenkovic and six other European prime ministers are attending the Bled Strategic Forum, and on the fringes, he will meet with Jansa and Hungarian PM Viktor Orban.

Speaking to the press, Andrej Plenkovic said the meetings would discuss "joint efforts to reduce infection and its cross-border effects."

In mid-August, Slovenia put Croatia on the coronavirus red list, which means mandatory quarantine for anyone arriving from Croatia. In order to avoid quarantine, many Slovenian tourists left Croatia.

"Our position is to attempt, notably in Slovenia, not just because of Croatia but also for the sake of numerous Slovenians who are our frequent and dear quests, to see the county level of infection as a criterion, something like Germany has done. I think there is room for that and that that is the best option."

He said the Bled Strategic Forum, the most important foreign policy event in Slovenia, was a good opportunity for European states to analyze their management of the coronavirus pandemic so far.

We can slowly sum up what has been good since January, he said, "what we have done well together, and how to respond together in the future when it comes to a vaccine, the procurement of medical and protective equipment."

Slovenian reporters asked him if he and Jansa would discuss the territorial dispute between the two neighboring states.

"Our position has been clear the entire time. We had Slovenia's initiative before the European Court in Luxembourg and you saw the decision, that it's not competent. We are still willing to talk about the border with Slovenia and our stance has not changed during my whole term," Plenkovic said, adding that it was necessary to find a "good, sustainable solution acceptable to both countries."

The 15th Bled Strategic Forum is focusing on Europe after Brexit and COVID-19. Also attending are Czech PM Andrej Babis, Polish PM Mateusz Morawiecki, Bulgarian PM Boyko Borissov, and Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic. Italian PM Giuseppe Conte is participating via video link.

The foreign ministers of Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Romania also arrived in Bled for a panel in which the EU High Representative for foreign and security policy, Josep Borrell, will also take part.

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Saturday, 29 August 2020

13 Countries Introduce Mandatory Restrictions for Travel from Croatia

August 29, 2020 - A total of 13 countries have introduced specific mandatory restrictions for travel from Croatia, and three more - the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark - have put Croatia on the orange list.

Slobodna Dalmacija reports that Slovakia is the newest European country to include Croatia on the red list. From September 2, everyone who wants to enter that country will have to self-isolate. Apart from Croatia, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Malta, and Belgium will also be on that list from the same date.

These are countries that have recorded many new coronavirus cases in the last 14 days: Croatia, which on Thursday reached an average of 80.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last two weeks, ranked in the high fifth place of the worst countries.

In front of Croatia are Spain, Malta, Luxembourg, and Romania.

Thus, everyone that was in Croatia and wants to enter Slovakia will have to undergo a 10-day quarantine. Slovakia, on the other hand, recorded 16.3 patients per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days, cumulatively, as of August 27.

Several states have set a limit on the cumulative number of patients in 14 days per 100,000 inhabitants, after which they will set restrictions on return from individual states. For example, Slovenia set that limit at 40 and introduced restrictions on the day Croatia crossed it.

And the growth of the cumulative number in Croatia was rapid: on Thursday, it exceeded 80, and on Assumption Day, August 15, it was less than 30.

A total of 13 countries have introduced certain mandatory restrictions for Croatia, and three more - the Netherlands, Finland, and Denmark - have put Croatia on the orange list, which means that recommendations have been issued not to travel to Croatia and to carry out quarantine, but it is not mandatory. 

The director of the CNIPH, Krunoslav Capak, said that Croatia was still mostly green.

"We have a high incidence, and it is expected that some countries will take some measures against us. However, I must say that most of Europe are still green towards us, and Croatian citizens can still travel to most European countries. We hope that now that the tourist season is waning, we will be able to reduce and improve our indicators, based on which they will then remove us from the red and orange lists," said the main state epidemiologist Capak. On Friday, Croatia came to 2560 active cases.

Among them, 212 patients are in hospital, of which 11 are on a ventilator. On Friday, in the past 24 hours, 2,065 people were tested. There are currently 8,770 people in self-isolation.

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Thursday, 27 August 2020

Modric and Rakitic Drop Out of Croatia Squad Ahead of Portugal and France Matches

August 27, 2020 -  Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic will miss the opening of the Nations League, which awaits the Croatia national team in early September. Coach Zlatko Dalic has invited Antonio Colak, Ante Budimir and Milo Skoric in their place.

HNS announced that in agreement with coach Dalic, the September gathering of the Croatia national team will be missed by captain Luka Modric and vice-captain Ivan Rakitic, while Wolfsburg stopper Marin Pongracic dropped out of the lineup due to illness.

Coach Dalic will replace these three players by activating three call-ups - attackers Antonio Colak and Ante Budimir and stopper Milo Skoric.

Osijek captain and stopper Skoric (29) has already made three appearances for Croatia. He made his debut on May 28, 2017, in a 2-1 win over Mexico in a friendly match. He made his last appearance on November 19 last year against Georgia, also in a friendly match when Croatia celebrated 2-1. Rijeka striker Colak (26) and Mallorca striker Budimir (29) have not yet made their debut for the strongest Croatia squad.

In addition, coach Dalic gave two additional days off to Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic, who played in the finals of the Champions League and Europa League, respectively. They will join the national team on Wednesday, September 2.

Recall that the national team gathers on August 31 in Zagreb, which is followed by two initial exams in the new edition of the Nations League. Namely, on September 5, Croatia will play in Porto against Portugal, and three days later, the World Cup finalists will play in St. Denis in a rematch against the 2018 World Champions, France. 

The first home game in this competition will be played on October 11 against Sweden, and that game should, for now, be played at Maksimir. Three days later, France should play at the same stadium.

Croatia will play against Sweden away on November 14, three days before Portugal visits Croatia, potentially at Poljud Stadium in Split.

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Tuesday, 25 August 2020

HNS Planning Croatia v. Portugal Spectacle at Poljud

August 25, 2020 - Numerous Croatian media outlets revealed on Tuesday that sources close to HNS have said Croatia and Portugal will meet at Poljud this November. Here's what we know so far.

As 24 Sata and Index.hr reported on Tuesday, the Croatian Football Federation is in talks to hold the Nations League match between Croatia and Portugal on November 17, 2020, at Poljud stadium in Split.  

If all goes to plan, the famous Hajduk stadium will host the Croatia national team for the 14th time. After the match against Hungary passed without incident last year, and after absolutely everyone praised the organization, HNS allegedly decided that Modric and company would play at Poljud once they had the next big opportunity. We'd say bringing Cristiano Ronaldo to Poljud warrants just that. 

24 Sata reported that UEFA might allow a certain number of spectators for the November match. However, UEFA initially reported that the upcoming Nations League games would be played without the presence of spectators. We will have to wait and see what the umbrella organization decides given the current epidemiological situation.

Cristiano Ronaldo's national team, which is still the current European champion, should come to Split in the last round of Group 3 as part of the A League of this UEFA competition. Apart from Croatia and Portugal, Sweden and France are in that group.

Croatia kicks off their Nations League campaign on September 5 in Porto against Portugal, and three days later, they will play in Paris against France. The first home game in this competition will be played on October 11 against Sweden, and that game should, for now, be played at Maksimir.

Three days later, France should play at the same stadium, and before the spectacle at Poljud, Dalic's team will visit Sweden. That match will be played on November 14, three days before Portugal's visit to Split.

24 Sata concludes that the Croatian Football Federation has sent a letter to Split, in line with what they said after Hungary - and that is that the national team will play at Poljud very soon. Now, we await an answer from Split, though we foresee no issues. After all, who wouldn’t want to host Ronaldo?

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Brnjac: Croatia Recognised As Safe Destination

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - Minister Nikolina Brnjac on Monday stated that the tourism sector was well prepared for the situation caused by the coronavirus and that the good tourism results, and government and crisis response team's measures had resulted in Croatia being recognized as a safe destination.

Commenting on claims by stakeholders in the tourism sector that it is going to take two to three years for tourism to get back to 2019's levels, Minister Brnjac said after meeting with representatives of the hotel industry, that it was of exceptional importance to "strategically think of further steps so that we can establish a sustainable and resilient system."

It is essential that everyone behaves responsibly and adheres to the recommended measures so that the positive trend in arrivals can continue this season and in that way, set the preconditions to maintain safety in the years to come, she said.

"The 2019 tourism season was above average in everything but the number of arrivals does not mean revenue too. That is why a tourism development strategy is important because it is important to know where we are going, what our objective is, and how to develop Croatia's tourism in the future. This situation with COVID is extraordinary. The tourism sector was exceptionally well prepared and the good results we have in fact, along with the government's measures which saved jobs and the measures by the Civil Protection Authority, have resulted in Croatia being recognized as a safe destination," the tourism minister underlined.

She explained that several ministries were in contact with those countries that have put Croatia on the quarantine list to ask that Croatia be treated according to the current developments in counties as the situation is not the same throughout the country.

"Hence, based on the epidemiological circumstances that will occur we expect other countries to review their lists. We have the biggest number of guests from Germany, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, and considering that we are a car destination, thanks to the Tourist Board's good promotion, we used our advantage and good road network," she concluded.

Director of the Croatian Tourism Association (HUT) Veljko Ostojic said that if the support measures had not been issued in March, the tourism season would definitely not be as it is because "employers would have been forced to lay off a significant number of workers and without workers there cannot be any tourism." 

We need information about job retention measures...because employers have to make certain decisions. It is also important to secure liquidity for the next tourism season and today we talked about the possibility of using EU funds, he said.

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Monday, 24 August 2020

Jandrokovic: Croatia Turned To Future, Expects Constructive Dialogue From Serbia

ZAGREB, Aug 24, 2020 - Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandrokovic said on Sunday that Croatia had won an imposed war and that it was oriented to the future and wished to commemorate every victim, and that it expected Serbia to take part in that dialogue more constructively.

"Croatia is turned to the future and we primarily want to commemorate every victim," Jandrokovic said in Barban in a comment on the announced visit of Deputy Prime Minister Tomo Medved to Grubori, where members of Croatian forces committed a war crime in 1995.

Jandrokovic, who was attending the 45th Prstenac tournament in Barban, said that history was well known and that it was well known who in the 1990s war was the aggressor and who the victim.

"Our messages have been very clear - the ball's no longer in our court, we expect Serbia to participate in that dialogue much more constructively, turned to the future," he said.

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Sunday, 23 August 2020

Tourists Continue Arriving, Offered Free Testing

ZAGREB, Aug 23, 2020 - While British tourists are leaving Croatia from Zemunik Airport near Zadar, new guests from Great Britain are arriving at Cilipi Airport at Dubrovnik despite the fact that the UK has put Croatia on a list of epidemiologically unsafe countries, the Vecernji List daily reports on Sunday.

According to the eVisitor system for the registration of guests, there were 670,000 tourists in Croatia on Friday, including 12,000 Austrians, 70,000 Slovenians and 15,500 Britons. Of the total number, 120,000 were domestic guests.

Two planes with 120 British nationals landed at Dubrovnik on Friday despite the UK's having put Croatia on its red list of epidemiologically unsafe countries and giving its nationals until Saturday to return home if they want to avoid quarantine.

"It is encouraging that despite that decision, Britons continue arriving in Dubrovnik. One of the reasons is that many work from home and no not mind quarantine. I hope that in the next few days we will manage to agree with the UK for it to switch from quarantine to a negative coronavirus test. London Airport can test 16,000 people daily and the City of Dubrovnik would cover the cost of testing, which amounts to £50 per test," Mayor Mato Frankovic, who in recent days has stepped up a campaign to attract British guests and help maintain flights from the UK to Dubrovnik.

Most of the tourists in Croatia are staying in Istria, Kvarner and Split-Dalmatia and Zadar counties.

 

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Sunday, 23 August 2020

Croatia given WTTC Safe Travels Stamp, Says Ministry

ZAGREB, Aug 23, 2020 - The Tourism Ministry said on Sunday that the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which represents the global travel and tourism sector, had awarded Croatia its Safe Travels Stamp, created in May this year.

The designation enables the identification of destinations and companies around the globe that have adopted global health and hygiene standards, the ministry said.

"As a popular European and Mediterranean destination we have been trying to cope with all problems and secure stability and security for local population and all travellers who have decided to visit us this year despite the current situation. In order to enable 'the new normal', we have prepared the necessary safety protocols and measures to make the stay of tourists in our country as pleasant as possible and to protect their health," Tourism and Sports Minister Nikolina Brnjac said.

Along with Croatia, the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp has also been awarded in Europe to Portugal, Spain, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Ukraine and Turkey. Twenty-two other destinations around the world have been given the WTTC Safe Travels Stamp, the ministry said.

 

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