Tuesday, 1 September 2020

Ronaldo is Coming to Poljud: Nations League Match Between Croatia and Portugal in Split!

September 1, 2020 - The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation has decided that the Nations League match between Croatia and Portugal will be played in Split.

The last round match of the Nations League Group C between Croatia and Portugal will be played on November 17 at Poljud Stadium in Split, announced HNS.

The 2018 World Cup finalists thus return to Split after a spectacular match against Hungary in the European qualifications for EURO 2020, which was played on October 10 last year.

HNS Executive Director Marijan Kustic and Executive Board member Ile Topuzovic held a meeting today with representatives of the City of Split, led by Mayor Andro Krstulovic-Opara, who gave their consent for the match in Split.

We remind you that in Group C of the Nations League, Croatia will compete against Portugal, France and Sweden. After the September opening in Porto and Paris, Croatia will host Sweden and France in October in Zagreb, while in November they will play against Sweden and then finish the group competition in Split against Portugal.

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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."



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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Sunday, 30 August 2020

Coronavirus Enters HNS: Executive Director Marijan Kustic Comments on Situation

August 30, 2020 - HNS Executive Director Marijan Kustic explained the current situation in HNS, after they announced that members of the U-21 national team staff are coronavirus-positive.

Gol.hr reports that COVID-19 has entered the Croatian Football Federation. HNS issued a statement on Saturday:

"Two members of the youth national team staff, including coach Igor Biscan, are positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus (without symptoms), so the current coach will not lead the U-21 national team at the upcoming September gathering.

Due to close contact with the infected, other members of Biscan's staff, in addition to Renato Pilipovic, have to go into self-isolation for 14 days,” reads the HNS statement, among other things.

Nova TV reporter Milan Stjelja discussed the topic with HNS executive director Marijan Kustic.

"For the sake of prevention, we tested the staff of the senior and youth national teams. Unfortunately, we have now heard that the coach of the U-21 national team, Igor Biscan, is positive for the coronavirus, as well as another member of the staff. We heard from each other on several occasions today, Igor has no symptoms, but the result is positive, so he and his staff have to go to self-isolation for 14 days due to close contact,” Kustic said in the introduction.

The young national team will play two important matches in the Euro U-21 qualifiers at the beginning of September. Who will replace Biscan on the bench?

"We only had consultations today, in which Biscan also participated by phone. We agreed that the U-17 national team coach Tomislav Rukavina and the HNS chief instructor Petar Krpan would take over.“

Luckily, there are no positive results in the headquarters of the senior national team.

"It is gratifying, the entire staff headed by coach Dalic is negative. For the sake of prevention, we tested everything so as not to get into a situation where the virus, God forbid, spreads at the gathering, to bring playing the matches into question.”

What about the players?

"They must come to the gathering with negative results that must not be older than 72 hours."

Certainly of interest to the Croatian public is the HNS decision to play an exhibition match in Donji Miholjac between the veterans of Jedinstvo and veterans of the Croatia national team, which also featured the president of the Federation Davor Suker, with a limited audience.

When we know that HNS decided to play the end of the season without spectators, and there are currently no spectators in the new season,  was the wrong step taken?

"I can only say that the club Jedinstvo from Donji Miholjac, on the occasion of their anniversary, asked veterans of the Croatia national team to come and enhance their jubilee. Of course, before that, they had a meeting with the local Civil Protection Headquarters, with the obligation to respect all epidemiological measures. I am convinced that this was the case,"  concluded Kustic.

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Wednesday, 5 August 2020

HNS Executive Director Marijan Kustic Talks About Upcoming Season, Spectators, and National Team

August 5, 2020 - Executive director of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustic, spoke about the just-finished season, the Cup final, the playoffs, referees and VAR, the national team and coach Zlatko Dalic, the junior championship that stirred relations with Hajduk, and other current events in his latest interview. 

The interview with Lovorko Magdic is transmitted in full, as reported by HRT:

The end of the season is just around the corner, as are the playoffs for the First HNL. What is your impression of the Cup final?

"I am happy that the final of this year's Cup was played in Kresimir's city, the city of the greatest athlete in the history of Croatia, Drazen Petrovic. I think that the match between Rijeka and Lokomotiva took place in a nice atmosphere. The slightly luckier team won, and I am really happy and proud that everything went well and that nothing happened after the game," says Kustic.

At one time during the corona era, there were spectators, now again, there are not.

"We monitor the epidemiological situation on a daily basis, and we simply did not want to get into a situation where we do not start the new competition season, which starts very soon. That is why we decided that there will be no spectators in the last round, in the Cup final and the qualifying matches of Istria and Orient, and we will most likely start the new championship also without spectators. With the current decision, the Nation's League is also played without spectators, which is why we decided to play the national team matches in Zagreb."

HNS quickly adapted to the health situation in Croatia and the world regarding football competitions in the country.

"As soon as we got into this situation with the coronavirus, we set up a working group, with doctors, epidemiologists and our people who run competitions within HNS. We followed the everyday situation, so we made decisions. When we stopped competing, few believed that we would bring the season to an end, which was perhaps the most interesting since the founding and independence of Croatia, because the order on the table was not known until the last round."

Your impression of the referees?

"There are always those who are satisfied and dissatisfied. Our goal was to introduce a VAR system; with this, we wanted to reduce errors to a minimum. What we always like to say is that we don’t want tails to be chased after games, but we can state that the reffing was very good. The application of VAR proved to be a great hit, we are satisfied and happy, we need even more education, and over time it will improve."

The playoffs for the First HNL used to be very interesting, the fight between the First League ninth place and second-place finishers from the Second League. Have the playoff matches lost their competitive charm?

"All these qualifying matches have their charm and I hope that there will be great matches in the future as well. Most importantly, it was shown in the 1st HNL that by investing in infrastructure and building better and better pitches, we have better and better games, more goals, fewer cards and fewer injuries to players."

The first league is more and more stable, even more interesting in the media, and a new agreement on media rights is on that track.

"That is great for Croatian football, for Croatian clubs. All funds will be directed to clubs, the first league, women's league, futsal league. It’s a big step forward, especially in this situation, because it’s not easy for clubs to raise funding to sustain and endure an entire season."

Will the second division endure all the turbulence currently happening?

"I deeply hope it will. The other day we had an assembly of clubs in the Second League, and as the Federation, we will also participate when it comes to financial assistance in paying club fees, with some 90 thousand kuna per club. We are doing everything to help the clubs, and we will do it in the future as well. Our goal is for the clubs to survive, not to shut down."

Onto the Croatia national team - the start of the Nations League is in September, is the start of this competition in any way in danger?

"The dates are known, and at this moment the decision is such that there will be no spectators, so it was much more practical and simple to organize in Zagreb, so the matches will be played in Zagreb for now."

The contract with coach Zlatko Dalic has been renewed.

"From the beginning, we said that there would be no problems, it was a mutual wish and we are looking forward to our further cooperation and the success of the Croatia national team."

There were many different comments, arguments and justifications about the final of the Croatian Junior Championship.

"I have repeatedly stated my opinion on this. Decisions were made, we asked for the opinion of Uefa, which said its own and presented the practice on which the countries in Europe were based when it comes to the same or similar issues regarding the conclusion and selection of clubs for European competitions. Before the final decision was defined, we consulted with them and sent a letter to them. We have acted according to the practice in Europe, although I have stated before that it is always best to solve it on the pitch, but such decisions are always the most difficult to make."

The Executive Director of HNS also commented on the work of the health commission headed by Dr. Dragan Primorac.

"Truly all praise to our health committee and the working group that is working hard on it. I hope that the new tests will not have any coronavirus-positives, so as not to get into a situation where we have to question play and regularity."

HNS's cooperation with the International Olympic Committee, whose new member is former Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, is intensifying.

"Congratulations to her once again on her election, it is a great success to be elected to such a body. As for the cooperation itself, we are working on its improvement, not only in the interest of HNS, but in the interest of all federations in Croatia. We have intensified this collaboration over the last year. I will be a representative in the Assembly of the Croatian Olympic Committee on behalf of HNS, so I am looking forward to working with Mr. Zlatko Mates. I hope that we will all work together for the benefit of Croatian sport."

In the two years since Croatia played the World Cup final, when you say that you are the executive director of HNS, or that you come from Croatia, how much has the attitude of people from abroad changed?

"It has certainly changed; it should not be emphasized much. Whatever country you go to, everyone mentions Modric and our other players - this is the biggest promotion of Croatia in the world. Looking at our cooperation with other federations in general (basketball, handball ...), I think that we should all work together for the benefit of Croatia with the Law on Sports and the Financing of Sports. If we all work together in that direction, we will make a big step forward. I hope that the future will be better and brighter for sports in general," concluded Marijan Kustic.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 31 July 2020

Hajduk Hits Back at HNS: Yet Another Farce, This Time a Detriment to Children

July 30, 2020 - Last week, the HNS Executive Board concluded a long-running saga about the Junior Champions League at a session of the Executive Board. They decided that the Dinamo juniors would go to the elite competition, even though Hajduk was in first place at the time the Junior First HNL was suspended. Hajduk had two more points than the second-placed Dinamo at the time, though Dinamo had played one game less.

Namely, when the junior championship was interrupted in March due to the coronavirus epidemic, Hajduk had 42 points, but also a game more than Dinamo, which collected 40 points. The Blues did not manage to play the match against Dugopolje before the break.

This caused a rift between Dinamo and Hajduk, a match was proposed, and the HNS Competition Commission sought advice from UEFA and sent a proposal to the Executive Board that the Zagreb club goes to the Champions League next season based on a better average of points played this season.

UEFA did not respond to the HNS inquiry, so the bodies of the Federation proposed that Dinamo go to the junior Champions League. The proposal was accepted.

At the time of the break, the Hajduk team had 42 points in 17 games played (2.47 points per game), and the Dinamo team had 40 points in 16 games played (2.5 points per game). HNS clarified the decision with the opinion of UEFA, which stated earlier in the letter that other countries that were in similar situations used the method of the ratio of points won and rounds played, i.e., coefficients.

Hajduk responded to the decision on Thursday:

"We are witnessing another farce directed by the Croatian Football Federation, which this time attacked our juniors, and whose decision was confirmed today by the HNS Arbitration Court. Unfortunately, we did not expect a different decision from the Federation, and HNS once again showed its true face, despite stories and promises of change and transparency by the Federation and its executive director Marijan Kustic. Decisions are always made in the interest of one and the same club. We are sending a beautiful message to our future generations.

Apart from the introduction of VAR, we have not seen any significant changes and shifts in the development of Croatian football, let alone the fulfillment of demands made by HNK Hajduk, which were presented for more righteous and fairer relations for all clubs, not just Hajduk. We can't help but ask ourselves and use the quote of the legendary captain Frane Matosic to the FSJ: "Do you have at least a gram of honesty here?"

Mr. Kustic has, on several occasions, denied himself on the topic of the junior champion, so we have attached his statements to the entire public over the last three months, which speak more than anything about the functioning of the Croatian Football Federation, but also the people who represent it.

1. "Let's go step by step. We are waiting for the commissioner's report and then we will make a final decision. If you ask me personally, I am always that such things are handled on the pitch, not administratively." - Dnevnik Nova TV, May 6, 2020

2. "The decision has so far been made as it is, I have said that I am in favor of resolving this on the pitch, but because of various decisions, we have made a decision according to the principle used in Europe." - Dnevnik Nova TV, July 23, 2020

3. 2020-07-30-17-00-1842-.jpg

- HNS's response to the lawsuit to the Arbitration Court, July 28, 2020

The competition commission, composed of Ante Vucemilovic-Simunovic, Neven Sprajcer, Zeljko Mihalj, Pero Vican, Ivan Novak, Ivan Peraic, Bozidar Sikic and Zeljko Bel, proposed to the HNS Executive Board that according to the only criterion in favor of GNK Dinamo (average coefficient) points won with regard to the number of matches played), which is also debatable, send a proposal to UEFA that the Zagreb club represents Croatian football in the junior Champions League. Let us remind you once again, Neven Sprajcer is a final convict in the "fair trial" affair. Transparent and fair, above all, in line with the HNS's predictable actions so far.

In its statement, HNS listed the leagues and federations that decided in favor of GNK Dinamo, ignoring other federations and leagues in which this criterion was not taken in terms of decision-making. Such an argument is completely missed for several reasons, primarily because it is completely irrelevant what decisions were made in other leagues, which, indisputably, have their own special regulations different from the regulations of the HNS (including a separate organization of first league clubs) and in particular since such a criterion in cases in those countries did not deprive any of the clubs covered by those decisions of the right to participate in UEFA club competitions. All the more so, as there are many other federations/leagues in which such a criterion has not been used to decide on the right to participate in UEFA club competitions.

On this occasion, we clearly articulate once again the arguments that make it quite clear that the decision of the HNS Executive Board is contrary to the opinion of Uefa, which has continuously, in all its instructions to national football federations, stressed the need "to determine places in European competitions by results and that decisions should be based on objective, transparent criteria without discrimination."

1. At the time of the suspension of the First HNL Championship for juniors, Hajduk was in first place with a game more and two points more than Dinamo.

2. Hajduk's juniors were first at the end of the mid-season,

3. In the only direct clash this season, Hajduk beat Dinamo 1:0

4. Hajduk had a total of 11 goals better than the second-placed Dinamo.

5. At the time of the break of the First HNL for juniors, Hajduk played 17 games, of which 9 home and 8 away games, while Dinamo played 16 games, of which as many as 10 home games and only 6 away games. So, if the Federation applied the same coefficient method separately for domestic and away matches of clubs (which it obviously should have done given the determined disproportion of played domestic and away matches of clubs) Hajduk would have achieved a coefficient of 3 points for domestic matches and a coefficient of 2.12 for away matches, while Dinamo would achieve a coefficient of 3 points for domestic matches and a coefficient of 1.67 for away matches, which would mean that the junior team of Hajduk has a total coefficient of 2.56 (5.12:2), and the junior team of Dinamo has a total coefficient 2.33 (4.67:2).

You can judge for yourself whether the decision of the Federation is objective and with transparent criteria without discrimination, considering all the arguments we have stated.

Following all the above, we will consider whether our juniors will play in the First HNL competition for juniors in the 2020/21 season, because it is obvious that Croatian football can only be represented by one club in the Junior Champions League. We all remember the situation from 2015, when the juniors of RNK Split won the championship, and in that situation, the Federation enabled Dinamo to participate in the UEFA Youth League through legal stunts.

HNK Hajduk will take and use all legal steps and opportunities to protect their children who, by diligent work on the pitch, have earned something that is taken away from them in the HNS offices. We repeat, the Club maintains that playing the so-called "Masters" was the best and fairest solution, and which would ultimately satisfy the basic principle in choosing the right to play in the UEFA club competition, the principle of sports results."

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Friday, 24 July 2020

Zlatko Dalic Signs New Croatia Contract until 2022 World Cup

July 24, 2020 - As expected, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) at its session on Thursday confirmed that Zlatko Dalic had extended his contract until the 2022 World Cup.

His existing contract expired this summer, but HNS president Davor Suker and Dalic officially agreed on a new contract for two years and five months.

Their agreement was confirmed by the HNS Executive Board, but it was only a formality.

The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation confirmed the agreement between HNS President Davor Suker and Croatia national team coach Zlatko Dalic on extending cooperation until the end of the FIFA World Cup, which will be held at the end of 2022.

"For us, at no time was it questionable that Zlatko will lead the team at the Euros next summer, and I am very glad that we immediately agreed to cooperate until the 2022 World Cup. Zlatko is a straightforward and genuine person to talk to, and we easily agreed on all details about continuing the collaboration. His results speak for themselves; we are proud of everything he has achieved so far as a coach and the Federation will provide him and the national team with maximum working conditions, as it has been so far," said HNS President Davor Suker.

"I thank Davor as the president of the Federation, the leadership of HNS, and the Executive Board for the expressed trust. As the situation with the epidemic and the postponement of the Euros to next summer unfolded, we agreed that it makes sense to round out the whole story until the 2022 World Cup. I have always said that there is no greater honor than leading the national team of my country and that is why I had no dilemma about continuing the cooperation. I have a lot of motivation, energy and ambition, and as long as I feel that way, I will lead the Croatia national team with a lot of pride," said the coach of the 2018 World Cup finalists, Zlatko Dalic.

Dalic took over the helm of the "Vatreni" in October 2017 after Ante Cacic was fired. Under his leadership, the Croatia national team won the playoff qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup and then achieved its greatest success in Russia, winning second place at the World Cup.

With Dalic, Croatia also qualified for the 2020 European Championships, which was postponed to next summer due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Along with Miroslav Blazevic, Dalic will become the only Croatia coach who will play with the national team at the World and European Championships.

Blazevic is also a record holder in the number of matches on the bench of the Croatia national team. Ciro led the national team 72 times, Slaven Bilic is second with 65 appearances, and Dalic is currently in third place with 30.

The Croatia national team is expecting a busy autumn program. From September to November, they will have as many as eight appearances - six in the Nations League, and two friendly matches.

The World Cup finalists are in the Nations League in a group with the world champions France, the European champions Portugal, and Sweden. The first place from this group will win a place in the Final Four, while the last place will fall to a lower rank.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 24 May 2020

HNS Reveals How Football Matches Will Look in Corona Era

May 24, 2020 - HNS released instructions for holding Croatian First League football matches during the coronavirus pandemic. 

Nogomet Plus reports that according to the plan yet to be approved by the National Civil Protection Headquarters, the football season continues next week, on May 30, when Slaven Belupo and Lokomotiva meet in Koprivnica as part of the Croatian Cup semifinals. The next day, Rijeka and Osijek will compete at Rujevica, and the continuation of the first league season is planned for June 5, when Hajduk and Inter Zapresic meet in the first game of the 27th round.

On that occasion, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) published instructions for holding matches during the coronavirus pandemic, but also changes in the propositions of the competition to better adapt to the current times marked by COVID-19.

The most significant change is that the matches will be played without the presence of spectators and with a minimum number of people needed in the stadium. Thus, the propositions stipulate that a maximum of 161 people can participate in one match, as follows:

Fenced part of the pitch:

Teams: up to 18 players
Officials on the bench: maximum 6 licensed persons
Referees: 4
Ball collectors: maximum 6
Persons with stretchers: maximum 4
TV crew: 2 or 4 cameramen + 2 technicians
Photojournalists: 4 (exceptionally + 1 HNS)
Technical - terrain maintenance: 4

In the stands:

Delegate and controller: 2
Club managements: host up to 15 people and guest up to 10 people
Official announcer, traffic light technique, TV crew CROATEL, commentators Arenasport or HNTV, HR2 and local radio according to the license: 15
PRESS Lodge: maximum 10 accredited journalists
HNS: maximum 10 people
Doping control: 2
Reserve players and staff members: maximum 5 per club in a separate part of the stand

Around the stadium:

VAR judges and technician: 3
Host club staff - technical staff: maximum 10
Security guards: usually up to 10
Ambulance (or replacement vehicle): 3
TV crew-reportage car: maximum 8

The matches are held in accordance with the epidemiological instructions prescribed by the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia and the HNS working group dedicated to the preparations for the continuation of the competition.

It was also decided that clubs will no longer have the right to register 12 substitutes, but that number has been reduced to 7, and during the match, a maximum of 5 changes can be made in three intervals while another change is possible in case of overtime.

Press conferences were canceled after the game, and instead, club spokespersons will be obliged to take a statement from the coach and two players of their club, which will then be given to journalists through digital channels. Coaches, on the other hand, are required to make a statement to TV in order to fulfill their obligations under the TV rights agreement.

The players of both teams and the referees of the match will no longer go out on the field together in a row. The fourth referee will first check the people on the benches, then the visiting team, then the home team and finally the main and assistant referees. There will be no more greetings from players and referees and coaches before the initial whistle.

When choosing the sides, the distance between the head referee and the team captain must be at least 1.5 meters, and they must be about 7 meters away from the longitudinal line of the field. Handling is prohibited on this occasion.

After scoring, the players are instructed not to hug, shake hands or physically touch during the celebration, and throughout the game they should avoid unnecessary physical contacts that do not serve the purpose of the game.

After the match, there is no greeting on the field between the players, club officials, and the referees.

This is what a football match will look like in the era of the new normal.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.


Friday, 8 May 2020

Exercise at Home Project by Croatian Football Federation Viewed Over Million Times

May 8, 2020 - The coronavirus pandemic may have temporarily stopped football, but it has not prevented footballers from exercising. The Croatian Football Federation offered video training to young football players daily, and after 35 published videos, the great success of the #vježbajdoma project is visible and easily measurable.

Through the #vježbajdoma (#exerciseathome) project, HNS wanted to encourage young football players to use their free time for physical activity and improve their abilities during this extraordinary situation.

Workout videos that can be performed at home, without additional devices and aids, were published daily, and among the videos were doctors' instructions on healthy eating as well as advice on a psychological approach to these unusual circumstances.

The video was created by Croatian senior and young national team members in football, fitness experts, coaches, coaches, and experts from other fields such as medicine and psychology, as well as several other football players from many clubs.


"From the bottom of my heart, I thank all those who participated in creating this training because we showed really great unity in wanting to bring the knowledge, skills and experience of top coaches and footballers to our large base. Many thanks to everyone who practiced with us. Finally, I would like to thank our video analyst Nikola Buzadžić, who put a lot of effort into editing these works that have lasting value for the HNS and young footballers. I am glad that in this way, we help athletes stay in shape, but I know that everyone can't wait to return to the football fields. I hope that the epidemiological situation in the country will allow us to do that relatively soon, and until then - we will continue to practice at home," said HNS chief instructor Petar Krpan.

The final figures are truly impressive. Thirty-five trainings were published on four HNS channels: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, with videos viewed more than a million times. On YouTube and Facebook alone, the total viewing time is more than 5,500 hours, and on Facebook and Instagram, the videos have garnered nearly 200,000 “likes”.

"We were aware that more than 100,000 young football players were left without daily training and we wanted to encourage them to exercise as much as possible at home, in a quality way. That is why we have included great fitness trainers from all parts of Croatia and I thank everyone for agreeing to share their knowledge via video. We have also included a number of our famous footballers, as well as indoor soccer players, to inspire further those who practice with us. All recorded training will remain available on HNS channels for everyone who wants to continue training according to such high standards," said Ivan Krakan, HNS fitness instructor for junior national teams, who initiated the project with chief instructor Krpan.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

HNS Confirms: Croatian Football Returns on May 30

May 6, 2020 - The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has decided that the football season will continue on May 30,  after it was interrupted in March because of COVID-19.

HNS announced on its website that following yesterday's meeting with the Secretary of the Central State Office for Sport, Tomislav Družak, with representatives of the Croatian Institute of Public Health, dates were proposed for concessions in the sports sector. Thus, the relaxed measures concerning the training processes are in place for the next two weeks, while the competitions will resume at the end of May and the beginning of June.

In accordance with the epidemiological situation in the country, the final approval for resuming the competition on the recommendation of the HZJZ will be given by the National Civil Protection Headquarters.

Expecting the proposed dates to be confirmed by the Civil Protection Headquarters, the HNS Executive Board reversed its decision of April 7, 2020, and decided that the football season would continue on May 30 and 31 with the Croatian Cup semi-finals, and on June 6, with the continuation of the Croatian Telecom First League. All matches would be played without the presence of spectators.

The Croatian Cup final, according to the previous plan, would be played on August 1. 

The Second HNL and Third HNL and other minor leagues will not resume the 2019/20 season, as well as competitions in all younger age categories.

The Executive Board will subsequently make decisions on the eventual continuation of competitions in 1st HNLŽ and 1st HMNL, as well as other necessary decisions regarding all competitions under the jurisdiction of HNS, and will notify clubs and the public promptly.

In addition, according to the recommendations of the Croatian Employment Service, HNS will issue binding instructions for clubs ahead of the competition, in order to maximize the health of players and all football players.

To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020

Croatian First League Will Not Return by First Calendar Option on May 16

April 21, 2020 - There are still 10 rounds to be played in the Croatian First League. The Croatian Football Federation announced that football would not resume in the first proposed calendar term.

The Croatian Football Federation on Monday announced that the competition in the Croatian First League would not continue until at least May 16.

"The Croatian Football Federation continuously monitors the situation with the COVID-19 pandemic and respects all decisions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia.

Following the new decisions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia and extension of the measures until May 4, 2020, HNS decided that the continuation of the competition in the First HNL will not start on May 16, which was the first of three scheduled dates for the continuation of the competition.

Given the unpredictability of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, the HNS will continue to cooperate and follow the instructions of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia and make decisions in accordance with the epidemiological situation in Croatia, and will inform all its members, the media and the public in a timely manner," HNS said in a statement.

The Croatian First League competition was terminated on March 12 after 26 rounds were played. The remaining options to continue the competition are May 30 and June 13.

Recall, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation adopted changes to the competition calendar in the 1st and 2nd Croatian League and Croatian Cup, taking into account the current COVID-19 pandemic. 

According to the recommendation of UEFA, the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) management has considered all the options in the calendar to allow a successful end to the competition year. Considering that the further course of the coronavirus pandemic is unpredictable, the HNS Executive Board has adopted three calendar options for the Croatian First League, Second League, and Croatian Cup competitions.

HNS has been in communication with the Central State Office for Sport on this subject, which is aware of and agrees with the decisions cited here.

Depending on the epidemiological situation in Croatia and the decisions of the competent authorities, the Executive Board will, by a specific decision, determine which version of the competition calendar change will apply.

In addition, the Olympic Committee has set deadlines by which it will announce a possibly selected version of the decision:

Option 1
1st HNL Competition Starts: May 16, 2020
2nd HNL Competition Starts: May 23, 2020
Completion of the 1st HNL and 2nd HNL Competition: July 18, 2020
Deadline: April 20, 2020

Option 2
1st HNL and 2nd HNL Competition Starts: May 30, 2020
Completion of the 1st HNL and 2nd HNL Competition: July 25, 2020
Deadline: May 4, 2020

Option 3
1st HNL and 2nd HNL Competition Starts: June 13, 2020
Completion of the 1st HNL Competition: August 2, 2020
Completion of 2nd HNL Competition: 1st August 2020
Deadline: May 18, 2020

By the end of the championship, 10 more rounds should be played, and at the moment the league was interrupted, Dinamo led in in the standings with 65 points, Rijeka is in second with 47,  Lokomotiva in third with 46, and Hajduk in fourth with. 45. At the bottom is Istria 1961 with 19 points and Inter and Varazdin with 17 points.

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