Wednesday, 1 September 2021

Croatian Football League to be Broadcast Internationally to 300 Million New Fans

September 1, 2021 - The Croatian football league matches will be broadcast to more than 300 million people from the 2022/23 season!

After buying TV rights for competitions under the jurisdiction of the Croatian Football Federation for a record amount, Endorphin Magine has signed a multi-year contract with an Indonesian partner that will market Croatian First League matches to more than 300 million people, reports HNS.

Last year, HNS and Endorphin Magine signed a ten-year contract for production and distribution rights for all matches owned by HNS, starting with the 2022/23 competition year.

Endorphin Magine has signed a contract with Indonesian house PT Global Media Visual (Mola TV), which has bought TV rights for the territories of Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, and Italy from the 2022/23 season until 2025. As announced by Endorphin, this is the first step in expanding the distribution of the Croatian league worldwide.

"This is an exhilarating time for Croatian football - we are entering new territories and can now broadcast matches internationally to 300 million new fans, which will contribute to the strong growth in popularity of this Top 20 Uefa league. We are delighted to partner with PT Global Media Visual, the market leader. This confirms the recent successes of the national team and clubs and that Croatian football is an exciting value. The Croatian Football Federation is delighted to expand into these new territories and fully supports new stakeholders. In addition, the growing international visibility of Croatian football will further promote clubs and players in these markets," said Endorphin Maginea CEO David Johnson.

"Our company is constantly looking for new and exciting content that allows us to offer our customers the best possible entertainment package. The first Croatian football league has developed into a top football experience. We are thrilled to give our viewers a chance to watch this competition for the first time. Our partnership with Endorphin Magine fits in perfectly with our vision of expanding the sports package offering," said Mirwan Suwarso, PT Global Media Visual’s representative.

"We are happy to hear about this agreement because it confirms the international attractiveness of our First League. We are sure that Mole TV viewers will enjoy Croatian football because the First League has never been more interesting, uncertain, and exciting. This agreement shows that we have chosen Endorphin Magine as an excellent partner who will help us in the development and promotion of Croatian football around the world," said the President of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić.

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Sunday, 9 May 2021

Emir Sahiti Breaks HNL Record Against Istria on Friday!

May 9, 2021 - Šibenik beat Istria 1-0 on Friday, secured their spot in the league, and player Emir Sahiti broke a record, beating Dinamo's Petkovic and Gvardiol.

It was not the best season for HNK Šibenik, as the central Dalmatian team dragged the drama to the final stage of the Croatian championship. On Friday, the team by Sergi Escobar beat Istra 1961 by the minimum score, and mathematically ensured their permanence in the top league. Sahiti scored the only goal of the match in the 48th minute of the second half and this was enough to give the hosts victory at Stadion Šubićevac, in a match that ended with only 10 players after Bailone was sent off in the 73rd minute.

But the joy for Sibenik is not limited solely to this result or their tenure in the First League, as Emir Sahiti broke a fantastic record in the local tournament. The 22-year-old Albanian player on loan from Hajduk II broke the record for most dribbles successfully completed in a single match.

The left-winger and Suad Sahiti’s younger brother successfully completed 10 dribbles against the Istrian team on Friday, thus surpassing two Dinamo Zagreb players: Bruno Petković and Joško Gvardiol, who to date had reached no more than 7 dribbles completed in the same match.

Currently, HNK Šibenik is in sixth place in the table after 33 games played to date. Escobar's team has 35 points, 16 less than Hajduk Split, which is in fifth place. Having been promoted last season, Šibenik beats Slaven by 4 points, Lokomotiva by 6, Varaždin by 8, and Istra 1961, whom they beat on Friday by 10 points.

HNK Šibenik will visit the second of the tournament, Osijek, on Tuesday at 19:05.

Source: Šibenski (Slobodna Dalmacija)

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Friday, 7 May 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from May 3-9, 2021

May 7, 2021 - TCN's regular retrospect of Highlights of the week, through the selection of TCN's reporter Ivor Kruljac. 

President Milanović loved by locals in Plaški. Firefighters quickly reacted to the fire in Zagreb recycle yard. Pula celebrated its liberation while Šibenik received new doses of coronavirus vaccines. Dinamo and Hajduk end their match in a tie. Overall another interesting week in Croatia, and here are more details on all highlights.

 Highlights of the week: President Milanović loved in Plaški county


© Kristina Stedul Fabac/ PIXSELL

Croatian president Zoran Milanović visited Plaški county near Ogulin on Tuesday to visit the newly-build Firefighter's home and Plaški Culture Home. The locals welcomed president Milanović with ovations, and many use the opportunity to handshake and take a photo with the president. As Večernji List reports, Milanović took the visit as an opportunity to comment on the hate speech incident at Borovo Selo. He stated that the President of Serbian National Council Milorad Pupovac and Croatian Prime Minister „should use the police, but they don't, they are causing incidents.

Highlights of the Week: Pula celebrating its liberation in WW2


© Srecko Niketic/ PIXSELL

Pula celebrated its annual liberation day and the Pula City Day, marked on May 5. In Tito's park, the traditional commemoration to the fallen WW2 soldiers of Tito's partisan army saw Tiziano Sošić (president of Pula City Council), Elena Puh Belci (vice mayor of Pula), Aleksandar Matić (chief of the City of Pula Office) and Fabrizio Radin (vice-county ruler of Istria county) paid their respects. Representatives of associations of anti-fascist fighters and anti-fascist of the city of Pula were present too. 

 Highlights of the Week: Dinamo and Hajduk end with an even score 1:1


© Milan Sabic/ PIXSELL

Hajduk and Dinamo's eternal opponents played another game at Hajduk's home of Poljud Stadium in Split on Wednesday. The match was the 22nd round in Croatian First League, and fans couldn't wait for it as the game was postponed.

Hajduk opened the match well and had a chance to take the lead in the first 20 seconds. Kačaniklić received an excellent long ball and ran on the right side. He rushed into the penalty area and shot diagonally, but Livaković came out and closed his corner. Dinamo improved and took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Majer, and Livaja returned the favor in the 44th minute. Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes of the match but without success.

After three victories in the previous three clashes with Hajduk this season, Dinamo failed to achieve maximum performance and almost mathematically secured the title but entered the last four rounds with a seven-point advantage over Osijek. The fail happened despite Dinamo facing Hajduk with the strongest possible lineup.  

Highlights of the Week: Vaccination in Šibenik continues successfully


© Hrvoje Jelavic/ PIXSELL

Larger quantities of vaccines came to Šibenik on Friday, allowing vaccination in Baldeki Sports Hall to go without problems for the second day in the row. The vaccination attracts a number of citizens, so the area got quite crowded.

Highlights of the Week: Recycling yard in Zagreb on fire, reasons unclear


© Matija Habljak/ PIXSELL

Zagreb's recycling yard, located on Sarajevska Cesta in Novi Zagreb, was victimized by fire but quickly localized and put under control on Tuesday. The fire caught four containers, and 21 firefighters with six fire trucks rushed to the field. Police investigated the cause of the fire, but the reason is, for the moment, unknown. Firefighters managed to operate despite the lack of hydrants, and the thick white smoke was noticed by citizens who live in the buildings close to the yard, reported Večernji List. 

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Osijek Have The Best Coach In The Croatian First League Nenad Bjelica

Friday, 4 September 2020 - Dinamo Zagreb's loss is NK Osijek's gain, as the rising Slavonians make a surprise start to the new season, lead by the best coach in the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica

There has been a taste of optimism in the air of Osijek for a while now. And much of it has been centred around the city's NK Osijek football club. However, expectations have flown through the roof this week as it has all but been officially confirmed that the team will start the impending season under the guidance of the best coach in the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica.

It is the most surprising move within the Croatian first league since Niko Kranjčar left his boyhood club Dinamo for bitter rivals Hajduk Split in 2005. At the start of last season, Bjelica was the coach of Croatian champions, Dinamo Zagreb.

The best coach in the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica, pictured during his time at FK Austria Wien © Steindy

But, this time, there can be no bitterness directed towards the moving man, no anger assigned to Bjelica for seeking a job in his hometown after his dismissal from Dinamo. Even if you attribute blame to those running the farce that Dinamo Zagreb has become, this latest shame for the club comes at the end of a very long list of grievances. Grievances that Dinamo supporters have proven all too quick to forgive, as soon as their wealthy club again win the league or lift the cup.

In recent years, Osijek has suffered more than any other major Croatian city from population decline. The streets of its westerly lying centre are often deserted in comparison to how the city was 20 years ago. And that's not just because of out-of-town shopping centres. Many young people born here, unable to find work for their considerable talents and skills, can now be found in Germany or Ireland. An accepting but unhappy resignation lies with those who've remained. It shouldn't be like this. Those emerging from the city's excellent university are among the best educated in Croatia. The computer sciences and programmers who graduate from Osijek are second to none.

Gradski Vrt, on the border of Sjenjak, in Osijek. It is the current home of NK Osijek. It will be used for the B team when the new stadium is finished © NK Osijek

One of the chief mood lifts for the men deserted by old school friends has been the attendance of Gradski Vrt, which currently remains NK Osijek's home ground. Not so long ago, it was a visit that only added misery. Though they are one of only four clubs never to have been relegated from the Croatian first league, NK Osijek was facing financial ruin as recently as 2016. But, then, Hungarian businessman Lőrinc Mészáros and Croatian Ivan Meštrović bought majority shares in the club.

Under the new regime, the squad was improved and a can-do spirit returned to the stands at Gradski Vrt. The club finished 4th in the league in 2017, just after celebrating the 70 year anniversary of playing under the name NK Osijek. It was their highest league finish in nearly 10 years and took them to qualifying matches for the 2017–18 UEFA Europa League. There, they beat Santa Coloma, Luzern and even former European champions PSV before their run was halted by Austria Wien. It hardly mattered. The ambition and optimism had returned for good. You could feel it throughout the city, not least when rumours of a brand new stadium began to filter through the stands.

Securing fourth in the domestic league the next year again took Osijek to the UEFA competition and in April 2018, plans for the impressive new Pampas Stadium were revealed. A state of art UEFA category 4 stadium for 12,000 rain-shielded fans, the new ground will be fully compatible with televised coverage of international competitions. This is an indicator of Osijek's ambition. Not a day goes by when football fans from the city - indeed, from all over Croatia - check on the progress of construction.

The progress of construction of Osijek's new ground is being watched by football fans across Croatia. it is a fitting home for the best coach in the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica © NK Osijek

That the team should be starting the new season with the best coach in the Croatian first league, Nenad Bjelica, is yet another measure of that ambition. But, unlike the visible rise of the new stands, few saw this one coming. After the mess of his departure from Dinamo Zagreb, it had been anticipated that Bjelica might go to La Liga or Serie A. He's certainly good enough.

A former player for NK Osijek, Bjelica spent four early seasons at his hometown club before moving to Spain to play for Albacete Balompié, Real Betis and Las Palmas. Following a spell of injuries, he returned to Osijek for two seasons and featured for them in the UEFA Cup competition. He played the last eight years of his career as a professional in Germany and Austria, before retiring in 2008. He bowed out after having represented Croatia nine times as part of the national side.

He began his managerial career at the same club from which he retired as a player, Austria's FC Kärnten, but by 2013 had moved to Austria Wien where he helped secure their qualification for the Champions League group stage. He spent time in Italy and Poland before returning to the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica signed for Dinamo Zagreb in 2018.

After a successful first year in charge, most were of the opinion that in the Croatian first league, Nenad Bjelica was the best coach. After guiding the team through a good Europa League campaign, Bjelica's successes resulted in attaining the highest number of qualifying places ever for Croatian domestic teams in European competition. He returned Dinamo Zagreb to the Champions League for the first time in three years before his winning run at the club was halted by their latest debacle.

How NK Osijek's new Pampas stadium complex will look when complete © NK Osijek

How they could have let him slip through their fingers is eye-raising and yet, at the same time, not surprising. This is Dinamo Zagreb. Their supporters are resigned.

“Honestly, I am so happy for Osijek,” frustrated Dinamo Zagreb supporter David Kutleša told TCN upon hearing of the appointment.

“He accepted Osijek? What a legend!” said another, Martin Žunec. “This next season is going to be sick (great).”

For too long have the tarnished successes of Dinamo Zagreb taken the full limelight in Croatian domestic football. Though eminently predictable, their lifting of consecutive cups has nevertheless brought cheer to supporters of a club riddled with trouble. Such domestic achievements may not immediately follow Bjelica to Slavonia. But, it barely matters right now. NK Osijek will start the new season with the best coach in the Croatian first league, Nenad Bjelica. In his acceptance of this appointment, it is to a building momentum of optimism that Bjelica is contributing. And nowhere is that more needed than Osijek.

The official announcement of the Croatian first league Nenad Bjelica's appointment to NK Osijek is expected on Saturday 5 September 2020

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Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Croatian First Football League Returns this Weekend for Spring Season

January 29, 2020 - The Croatian First Football League returns this weekend. Inter Zaprešić and Istra will open the spring season in Zagreb on Friday.

The new season of the Croatian First Football League began on July 19, 2019. Dinamo currently leads the table to claim the Croatian champion title once again.

The current season is especially interesting because five clubs, or half the league, will fight in European competitions in the summer of 2020. The first and second-placed teams will qualify for the Champions League, while the third, fourth, and fifth-placed teams will compete in the Europa League qualifiers.

This season of the Croatian First Football League is played as in previous seasons, with a total of 36 rounds.

The first half-season ended on December 18 with back-to-back games between Dinamo and Rijeka, and the big news for the spring part of the season is that video technology (VAR) will be used.

1st round:

Osijek - Slaven Belupo 2:0
Dinamo - Lokomotiva 3:0
Rijeka - Varaždin 2:1
Gorica - Inter Zaprešić 1:1

Hajduk - Istra 1961 2:0

2nd round:

Inter Zaprešić - Istra 1961 0:2
Varaždin - Hajduk 0:3
Lokomotiva - Rijeka 0:1
Slaven Belupo - Dinamo 0:3
Gorica - Osijek 3:1

3rd round:

Dinamo - Gorica 3:1
Istra 1961 - Varaždin 3:1
Rijeka - Slaven Belupo 3:1
Hajduk - Lokomotiva 3:0
Osijek - Inter Zaprešić 3:1

4th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Varaždin 2:2
Lokomotiva - Istra 1961 4:1
Slaven Belupo - Hajduk 2:1
Gorica - Rijeka 2:0
Osijek - Dinamo 0:0

5th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Dinamo 1:2
Rijeka - Osijek 1:1
Hajduk - Gorica 3:0
Istra 1961 - Slaven Belupo 2:3
Varaždin - Lokomotiva 1:1

6th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Lokomotiva 1:2
Slaven Belupo - Varaždin 1:1
Gorica - Istra 1961 1:1
Osijek - Hajduk 1:0
Dinamo - Rijeka 3:0

7th round:

Rijeka – Inter Zaprešić 1:1
Hajduk – Dinamo 1:0
Istra 1961 -  Osijek 0:0
Varaždin – Gorica 1:3
Lokomotiva – Slaven Belupo 6:1

8th round:

Dinamo - Istra 1961 1:0
Inter Zaprešić - Slaven Belupo 3:1
Gorica - Lokomotiva 0:0
Osijek - Varaždin 2:2
Rijeka - Hajduk 1:1

9th round:

Lokomotiva - Osijek 2:1
Slaven Belupo - Gorica 2:0
Varaždin - Dinamo 1:0
Hajduk - Inter Zaprešić 3:1
Istra 1961 - Rijeka 0:3

10th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Gorica 0:2
Slaven Belupo - Osijek 0:4
Lokomotiva - Dinamo 0:4
Varaždin - Rijeka 0:2
Istra 1961 - Hajduk 1:1

11th round:

Istra 1961 - Inter Zaprešić 2:2
Hajduk - Varaždin 2:0
Rijeka - Lokomotiva 1:1
Dinamo - Slaven Belupo 1:0
Osijek - Gorica 2:1

12th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Osijek 3:3
Gorica - Dinamo 2:4
Slaven Belupo - Rijeka 1:2
Lokomotiva - Hajduk 0:0
Varaždin - Istra 1961 1:0

13th round:

Varaždin - Inter Zaprešić 0:1
Istra 1961 - Lokomotiva 0:2
Hajduk - Slaven Belupo 2:0
Rijeka - Gorica 1:2
Dinamo - Osijek 1:0

14th round:

Dinamo - Inter Zaprešić 1:0
Osijek - Rijeka 3:2
Gorica - Hajduk 2:1
Slaven Belupo - Istra 1961 0:0
Lokomotiva - Varaždin 2:1

15th round:

Lokomotiva - Inter Zaprešić 3:1
Varaždin - Slaven Belupo 0:0
Istra 1961 - Gorica 2:2
Hajduk - Osijek 3:2
Rijeka - Dinamo 0:5

16th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Rijeka 1:4
Dinamo - Hajduk 1:1
Osijek - Istra 1961 1:0
Gorica - Varaždin 1:0
Slaven Belupo - Lokomotiva 1:0

17th round:

Slaven Belupo - Inter Zaprešić 3:0
Lokomotiva - Gorica 4:0
Varaždin - Osijek 1:1
Istra 1961 - Dinamo 1:2
Hajduk - Rijeka 0:4

18th round:

Inter Zaprešić - Hajduk 1:1
Rijeka - Istra 1961 2:0
Dinamo - Varaždin 1:0
Osijek - Lokomotiva 4:0
Gorica - Slaven Belupo 2:0

19th round:

Gorica - Inter Zaprešić 1:1
Osijek - Slaven Belupo 3:2
Dinamo - Lokomotiva 1:0
Rijeka - Varaždin 3:1
Hajduk - Istra 1961 2:1

20th round: 

Inter - Istra 1961 (Friday, 31 January at 18:00)
Varaždin - Hajduk (Sunday, 2 February at 15:00)
Lokomotiva - Rijeka (Saturday, 1 February at 15:00)
Slaven Belupo - Dinamo (Saturday, 1 February at 17:30)
Gorica - Osijek (Sunday, 2 February at 17:30)

21st round:

Osijek - Inter Zaprešić (Saturday, 8 February at 15:00)
Dinamo - Gorica (Sunday, 9 February at 17:30)
Rijeka - Slaven Belupo (Sunday, 9 February at 15:00)
Hajduk - Lokomotiva (Saturday, 8 February at 17:30)
Istra 1961 - Varaždin (Friday,  7 February at 18:00)

22nd round:

Inter Zaprešić - Varaždin (Saturday, 15 February at 15:00)
Lokomotiva - Istra 1961 (Friday, 14 February at 18:00)
Slaven Belupo - Hajduk (Saturday, 15 February at 17:30)
Gorica - Rijeka (Sunday, 16 February at 17:30)
Osijek - Dinamo (Sunday, 16 February at 15:00)

23rd round:

Dinamo - Inter Zaprešić (Sunday, 23 February at 15:00)
Rijeka - Osijek (Saturday, 22 February at 17:30)
Hajduk - Gorica (Saturday 22 February at 15:00)
Istra 1961 - Slaven Belupo (Sunday, 23 February at 17:30)
Varaždin - Lokomotiva (Friday, 21. February at 18:00)

24th round (28 February – 1 March):

Inter Zaprešić - Lokomotiva
Slaven Belupo - Varaždin
Gorica - Istra 1961
Osijek - Hajduk
Dinamo - Rijeka

25th round (3 – 5 March):

Rijeka - Inter Zaprešić
Hajduk - Dinamo
Istra 1961 - Osijek
Varaždin - Gorica
Lokomotiva - Slaven Belupo

26th round (7 – 9 March):

Inter Zaprešić - Slaven Belupo
Gorica - Lokomotiva
Osijek - Varaždin
Dinamo - Istra 1961
Rijeka - Hajduk

27th round (13 – 15 March):

Hajduk - Inter Zaprešić
Istra 1961 - Rijeka
Varaždin - Dinamo
Lokomotiva - Osijek
Slaven Belupo - Gorica

28th round (20 – 22 March):

Inter Zaprešić - Gorica
Slaven Belupo - Osijek
Dinamo - Lokomotiva
Varaždin - Rijeka
Istra 1961 - Hajduk

29th round (3 – 5 April):

Istra 1961 - Inter Zaprešić
Hajduk - Varaždin
Rijeka - Lokomotiva
Dinamo - Slaven Belupo
Osijek - Gorica

30th round (9 – 11 April):

Inter Zaprešić - Osijek
Gorica - Dinamo
Slaven Belupo - Rijeka
Lokomotiva - Hajduk
Varaždin - Istra 1961

31st round (17 – 19 April):

Varaždin - Inter Zaprešić
Istra 1961 - Lokomotiva
Hajduk - Slaven Belupo
Rijeka - Gorica
Dinamo - Osijek

32nd round (21 – 23 April):

Inter Zaprešić - Dinamo
Osijek - Rijeka
Gorica - Hajduk
Slaven Belupo - Istra 1961
Lokomotiva - Varaždin

33r round (25 – 27 May):

Lokomotiva - Inter Zaprešić
Varaždin - Slaven Belupo
Istra 1961 - Gorica
Hajduk - Osijek
Rijeka - Dinamo

34th round (1 – 3 May):

Inter Zaprešić - Rijeka
Dinamo - Hajduk
Osijek - Istra 1961
Gorica - Varaždin
Slaven Belupo

35th round (8 – 10 May):

Slaven Belupo - Inter Zaprešić
Lokomotiva - Gorica
Varaždin - Osijek
Istra 1961 - Dinamo
Hajduk - Rijeka

36th round (15 – 17 May):

Inter Zaprešić - Hajduk
Rijeka - Istra 1961
Dinamo - Varaždin
Osijek - Lokomotiva
Gorica - Slaven Belupo


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