Wednesday, 5 May 2021

Croatia's Eternal Derby: Hajduk and Dinamo Play 1:1 at Poljud

May 5, 2021 - Hajduk and Dinamo met in Croatia's Eternal Derby on Wednesday, playing 1:1 in the postponed match of the Croatian First League's 22nd round. 

Dinamo took the lead in the 16th minute with a goal by Majer, and Livaja equalized in the 44th minute. Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes of the match. 

Dinamo came to Poljud with the strongest possible lineup, hoping to secure the points needed to defend the Croatian championship title. On the other hand, Hajduk needed a victory to keep pace in the fight for Europe after a win against Rijeka last weekend.

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 made a lot of mistakes in the opening, but the first cardinal mistake was made by Marco Fossati, who Dinamo quickly punished. The Hajduk player lost the ball near the goal line; Petković took advantage of his mistake and entered the penalty area. Petković found Majer, who hit the opposite corner with his head from the top of the box.

Additional pressure from Dinamo was expected after the lead but they left the ball to Hajduk and waited for counters. Hajduk played smart and controlled the match.

In the 33rd minute, Jurić nailed the penalty area, but Stefan Simić shot straight at Livaković. In the next attack, Ivanušec shot well from about 20 meters, but Kalinić defended even better.

Hajduk played better nearing halftime, and in the 41st minute, they had another great chance. Livaja masterfully played Jurić, but Livaković reacted superbly. 

Hajduk deservedly equalized a minute before the end of the first half after a big mistake by Dinamo's defense. Lauritsen reacted desperately, Theophile lost focus on Livaja, and Hajduk's best player scored for 1:1.

Ivanušec was subbed off at halftime for Kastrati, and Tramezzani played Diamantakos instead of Ljubičić.

The tempo of the second half was dull until the 61st minute when Petković shot high over the goal. Kastrati missed three minutes later.

Hajduk, who played well in the first hour, started to lose strength, which became more and more obvious as the match came to an end. However, Diamantakos hit the crossbar in the final minutes. 

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.

Hajduk has not inched much closer to third place, which certainly leads to Europe.

Source: Index.hr

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Thursday, 29 April 2021

Croatian Cup Final: Dinamo Secures Final Spot after 4:1 Victory against Gorica

April 9, 2021 - Dinamo Zagreb advanced to the Croatian Cup final with a victory against Gorica after extra time in the semifinal match 4-1 (0-1, 1-1).

Gorica opened the match very well, took the lead with a goal by Špikić (3), but at the beginning of the second half, Mišić (46) equalized for 1-1. Dinamo's victory was secured in extra time thanks to Jakić (100), Majer (110), and Ademi (118).

Recap

Gorica took the lead thanks to an early goal the young Gorica striker Špikić, who will play for Dinamo from the summer. 

Gorica was a better opponent throughout the first half. Dinamo, despite falling behind, did not create a single dangerous situation in front of the opponent's goal. At the same time, Gorica threatened from quick counterattacks but lacked precision in the end to increase the lead.

The match completely turned around at the beginning of the second half when Dinamo coach Damir Krznar introduced Ademi and Majer into the game instead of Ivanušec and Franjić.

After only 46 seconds of play in the second half, Mišić equalized with an excellent shot from 20 meters. Kastrati entered the penalty area from the right side, pulled the defense on himself, and then served Mišić with a ball to score. 

In the 49th minute, Gorica was left with a player less after referee Zebec booked Keita with a second yellow. Dinamo then absolutely dominated.

Dinamo could have won before the end of the 90th minute. Oršić blew a chance in the 69th minute and decided to pass to Majer instead, while Kastrati missed with his head from four meters out in the 72nd minute.

Gorica could not hold on during the extra time. Dinamo took the lead in almost the same way that they equalized. Kastrati got the ball on the right-wing and sent the ball to Jakić, who shot from about 20 meters. Banić was helpless.

By the end of the match, Majer and Ademi set the final score in the 110th and 118th minutes, respectively, with precise low shots from the top of the penalty area.

In the final on May 19 in Velika Gorica, Dinamo will play against Istra 1961, which defeated the defending champions Rijeka 3-2 in the first semifinal two weeks ago.

Dinamo has won the Cup 15 times so far, while Istra 1961 does not have a single title.

Source: HRT

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Thursday, 15 April 2021

Dinamo Drops Out of Europa League After Quarterfinal Loss to Villarreal

April 15, 2021 - Dinamo drops out of Europa League after losing to Villarreal in the return quarterfinal match on Thursday in Spain. 

Dinamo and Villarreal met in the Europa League quarterfinal return match on Thursday in Spain. The famous Spanish club won 1:0 in the first match seven days ago at Maksimir Stadium thanks to a penalty by Moreno.

Villarreal was the absolute favorite to move forward, but Dinamo went into the match with every intention of winning. At yesterday's press conference, Damir Krznar and Mislav Oršić openly said that the hosts were the favorites, but so was Tottenham, and that Dinamo had the right to hope and continue to dream the European dream.

Lineups

VILLARREAL: Rulli - Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza - Parejo, Capoue, Trigueros - Moreno, Alcacer, Chukuweze

DINAMO: Livaković - Ristovski, Lauritsen, Theophile, Gvardiol - Ademi, Jakić, Ivanušec, Majer, Oršić - Petković

Recap

Dinamo had a tough time finding their footing at the start of the match and only had their first real chance in the 11th minute. Villarreal proved to be too strong for the Croatian champion, and after hitting the post in the 24th minute, Chukuweze scored for 1:0 10 minutes later. Moreno increased Villarreal's lead to 2:0 just before the half for a 3:0 aggregate for the Spanish club.

Dinamo started the second half much better than the first. Majer was one-on-one with the keeper five minutes in, and Gvardiol found Oršić at the top of the box who just missed the far post minutes later. 

An epic save by Livakovic in the 66th gave Dinamo hope, and another Oršić far post rocket almost made it 2:1. 

But Oršić finally got his chance. Petković assisted the Dinamo star for 2:1 in the 75th minute! 

Oršić hit over the post when a free-kick was awarded to Dinamo just outside the box in the 87th minute. The referee added 3 minutes of extra time.

Dinamo thus says goodbye to this Europa League season after a historic run. 

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Friday, 9 April 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from April 5-11, 2021

April 11, 2021 - An overview of the big events in Croatia from April 5 to 11, 2021. 

The first week after Easter saw Croatia bitter on the tragic death of a 2-year-old girl, followed by a shock of heavy snow fastly coming and fading in Croatia's capital. Dinamo fans were disappointed by the Europa League loss at Maksimir stadium, while Pula is finally starting a big project of connecting its underground tunnels with an important surface site. Citizens of Split saw two candidates coalition together to unify liberal and progressive election bodies.

Highlights of the week: New headmaster of Social Service in Nova Gradiška marija_jugovic-c-Ivica_GalovicPIXSELL.jpg

© Ivica Galovic / PIXSELL

Following the tragic death of a 2-year-old girl who was heavily beaten by her mother and neglected by her parents resulted in Marija Jugović taking the position as the new headmaster of Social Welfare Centre Nova Gradiška on Monday. Jugović replaced the former headmaster Branko Medunić, following the controversial decision of returning the girl from her foster family back to her biological parents, who previously neglected and abused her, which ended fatally.

As Večernji List reported, Medunić is still employed in the Centre, and Jugović said on Monday that the investigation by the ministry would show if there were any misconducts in handling the case.

„Medunić is a social worker, and he is currently doing the job according to his occupation“, said Jugović.

Pending the results, Jugović announced lay-offs in the Nova Gradiška Centre. The investigation was expected to be complete by Wednesday.

„It's determined that there were mistakes in the procedure, which was the mistake of the headmaster. We are still waiting for professional findings from Croatian Social Workers chamber and Croatian Psychology Chamber“, said Josip Aladrović, Minister of family and social policies, on Wednesday as a guest On National Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT).

He added that restrictions in the Centre were done immediately based on those findings, and other results are expected to be complete by the end of the week.  

Highlights of the week: April snow in Zagreb brought shock and traffic 

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© Bruno Fantulin / PIXSELL

The heavy snow, which was announced but still surprised the citizens of Zagreb thanks to its intensity, caused chaos on Zagreb streets on Tuesday. Traffic was jammed and several accidents occurred. Still, the snow quickly melted away and meteorologists announced warmer weather by the end of the week.  

Citizens of Zagreb were in disbelief of such heavy snowfall in early April, a day after it was a little under 20 degrees Celsius.

Highlights of the week: Ivica Puljak and Bojan Ivošević competing together in Split local elections

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© Ivo Cagalj / PIXSELL

Mayoral candidate of Centre Party Ivica will compete in the upcoming local elections for Split Mayor with the independent candidate Bojan Ivošević who aims to be his vice-mayor. As Večernji List reported on Tuesday, the pair said this decision was easy for them as neither one had to betray their beliefs when agreeing to this collaboration.

„In this election, the civil, progressive Split we represent is waking up like never before. We united our teams, Split has a chance it didn't have in decades, and if we don't use it, we won't get another opportunity for four years, maybe even longer. We have to take this chance“, said Ivica Poljak.

Bojan Ivošević is confident they will win elections and „return freedom to the citizens of Split and end trading authority in Split“.

Highlights of the week: Construction of connecting Kaštel fort with underground tunnels ongoing in Pula

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© Sasa Miljevic / PIXSELL

One of the most interesting tourist projects this year is taking place in Pula. Fort Kaštel is being connected with a network of underground tunnels that date back from the Austro-Hungarian times when Pula was the main military port. After the project was announced as early as 2019, the shaft where there will be a tourist elevator that will connect the fort with tunnels was finally been pierced last Friday.

Highlights of the week: Dinamo defeated by Villareal

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© Goran Stanzl / PIXSELL

After the brilliant victory against Tottenham, Dinamo's luck and skill took a blow in the clash with Villareal on Thursday.  

Despite Dinamo handling well against the first attempt of Villareal and few risky shots aimed at Zagreb's gate, it all went well until the very end of half-time when Moreno scored for the Spanish club, taking advantage of a penalty Dinamo received for Theophile's handball.

Dinamo didn't manage to level the result or turnover the game but reduced the loss to the lowest possible outcome. Whether Dinamo is able to come on top against Villareal will be known next Thursday when they visit Villareal in Spain.

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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Villarreal Tops Dinamo in Europa League Quarterfinal First Leg in Zagreb

April 8, 2021 - Villarreal tops Dinamo in the first leg of the Europa League quarterfinals in Zagreb (1:0).

After sensationally knocking out Tottenham in the last 16, Dinamo met Villarreal for the first quarterfinal match of the Europa League at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday. 

However, Dinamo could not count on all of the stars that brought them success in the last round. Coach Damir Krznar announced before the match that Joško Gvardiol and attackers Bruno Petković and Mario Gavranović were injured.

Lineups

Dinamo: Livaković - Ristovski, Theophile, Lauritsen, Gvardiol - Ademi, Jakić, Ivanušec, Majer, Oršić - Atiemwen

Villarreal: Rulli - Foyth, Albiol, Pau Torres, Pedraza - Capoue, Dani Parejo, Trigueros - Gerard Moreno, Chukwueze, Bacca

Recap

Villarreal had the first attempt of the match but Livakovic saved nearing the 7th minute. And it didn't take long for Dinamo to be dangerous, too. A Majer shot was difficult for the Villarreal keeper in the 10th minute, resulting in a corner. Atiemwen shot near post in the next play.

Villarreal had a few uneasy attacks in the 10 minutes that followed, but Livakovic was solid to keep the net clean for the Zagreb club.

An incredible play between Orsic and Atiemwen resulted in an offside goal in the 25th minute. Orsic had a Tottenham-style chance in the 33rrd but hit over the goal. Dinamo was certainly pressing Villarreal's defense.

Unfortunately, just a few minutes before halftime, the referee awarded Villarreal a penalty after Theophile's handball in the box. Moreno scored for the Spanish club to lead 0:1 at the half. 

Atiemwen threatened Villarreal's goal to start the second half, while a Gvardiol attempt 10 minutes late was saved.

Coach Krznar decided to risk Bruno Petkovic who was subbed on for Atiemwen in the 60th minute. Kastrati also replaced Jakic to boost the offense. Petkovic found Ristovski in the 68th minute but his shot was blocked.

Dinamo used its third substitution in the 71st minute - Leovac entered instead of Gvardiol.

In the 82nd minute, Dinamo made a double substitution - Majer and Oršić came out for Franjić and Tolić.

Dinamo was lucky Villarreal didn't increase their lead in the final minutes of the match as their backline remained solid. The match ended 0:1 for the Spanish side. 

Dinamo will visit Villarreal next Thursday in Spain at the same time. 

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Sunday, 21 March 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from March 15-21, 2021

March 21, 2021 – From the Mamić brothers verdict on Monday to Dinamo's historic match with Tottenham on Thursday, here are TCN's five highlights of the week from March 15 to 21, 2021.

As we look back and review the top news in Croatia over the past week, we realize just how much can change – and even history can be made. For Dinamo's fans, this week's match with Tottenham will surely be one of the most significant games, as they secured a place in quarter-finals of the Europa League after more than half a century. But that is not the only good sports news from Croatia this week!

From Monday to Sunday, we list five events featured on the front pages of news portals in Croatia.

Highlights of the week: Mamić brothers verdict

At the beginning of the week, the news of the brothers Zdravko and Zoran Mamić verdict resonated with the public. Namely, the Croatian Supreme Court has issued a final judgment and confirmed prison sentences for the Mamić brothers, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović, and tax collector Milan Pernar.

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Zdravko Mamić. Photo: Denis Kapetanovic/PIXSELL

Zoran Mamić and Milan Pernar were found guilty of reducing Mamić's tax liabilities and accepting bribes, and Zoran Mamić was also found guilty of giving bribes. Zdravko, Zoran Mamić, and Vrbanović are guilty of splitting the Dejan Lovren transfer and Zdravko Mamić for splitting the Luka Modrić transfer.

Zdravko Mamić was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Four years and eight months in prison were given to his brother Zoran Mamić, who resigned as Dinamo coach after the verdict, just three days before a crucial match against Tottenham. Former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović was sentenced to three years in prison.

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Zoran Mamić. Photo: Marko Prpic/PIXSELL

Also, Zdravko Mamić must return 52 milion kuna. According to the verdict, Dinamo was damaged by 80 million kunas in total. The state will also take their other assets, namely property, and cars.

Highlights of the week: Dinamo tops Tottenham and writes history

Regardless of the events in Dinamo earlier this week, the players showed all the quality on the field on Thursday and beat Tottenham 3: 0 (3:2) in a historic match. Thanks to the incredible game of Mislav Oršić, who was later named UEFA player of the week, Dinamo secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after more than 50 years!

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Mislav Oršić. Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Dinamo thus created the first-class sensation, and this match will be remembered for a long time. A big celebration of Dinamo fans Bad Blue Boys and players followed the game in front of the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. Deservedly!

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Dinamo fans and players celebrating after the match, Mislav Oršić in the air. Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: The UK and Croatia tourist opportunities

Andrew Dalgleish, the British Ambassador to Croatia, visited Croatia this week to discuss tourism opportunities between the two countries with Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

As she pointed out, Croatia is ready to receive tourists from the UK, one of Croatia's most important tourist markets, as soon as the UK's epidemiological rules allow for that.

"We're pleased with the fact that the destination of Croatia is still perceived in the United Kingdom as high quality, desirable, and safe. A dialogue has been opened with the British side on travel facilitation modalities between the UK and Croatia," said Brnjac.

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Photo: Romulić and Stojčić

She was even cited by the Daily Telegraph. Croatia's attempts to get the best out of the upcoming summer season are recognized by many other countries interested in traveling to Croatia.

Highlights of the week: Increasing number of new infections and citizens' dissatisfaction

As the pandemic rages on, the infection numbers started to grow again in Croatia, and now statistically younger people need respirators. With the increase in the number of new coronavirus cases that we witnessed this week, citizens' dissatisfaction with the current epidemiological measures has also increased.

To express their dissatisfaction, protesters gathered in five Croatian cities and protested against the measures, but also against the mandatory wearing of face masks.

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Protest against epidemiological measures in Zagreb, March 20, 2021. Photo: Zoe Sarlija/PIXSELL

Organized by the Rights and Freedoms Initiative, Croatians in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik, and Osijek thus supported the protests in about 40 countries worldwide under the slogan "World march for freedom, peace, and democracy."

Highlights of the week: Filip Zubčić wins second place in Lenzerheide

Croatia is truly a home to great athletes. As if we haven't seen big results in Croatian sport this week, Croatian skier Filip Zubčić took care of the even better end of the week, winning second place in the Lenzerheide Grand Slalom.

Zubčić had an excellent performance in the last giant slalom of the season. After ranking third place in the first run, he finally won second place, 20 hundredths of a second behind French skier Alexis Pinturault. In the overall ranking of skiers, Zubčić is fifth with 744 points.

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Friday, 19 March 2021

Europa League Draw: Dinamo Against Villarreal in Quarterfinal!

March 19, 2021 - The Europa League draw on Friday revealed that it will be Dinamo against Villarreal in the quarterfinal!

The Europa League quarterfinal draw was held in Nyon on Friday afternoon. Croatian champion Dinamo is among the eight clubs that will compete in the quarterfinals. 

Arsenal, Manchester United, Roma, Granada, Villarreal, Slavia Prague, and Ajax also reached the quarterfinals. There were no restrictions in the quarterfinals and all clubs could play each other. The pairs were drawn by former Arsenal and City player Gael Clichy.

After the draw for the quarterfinals, a draw for the semifinals was held.

Quarterfinal draw: 

Granada - Manchester United

Arsenal - Slavia

Ajax - Roma

Dinamo - Villarreal

Semifinal draw:

Granada / Manchester United - Ajax / Roma

DINAMO / Villarreal - Arsenal / Slavia

If Dinamo passes Villarreal, they will play with the better team from the clash between Arsenal and Slavia in the semis. The Croatian champion was lucky in the draw because they avoided any Premier League sides in the quarterfinals, but also the mighty Ajax.

Dinamo will thus play against the seventh-placed team of the Spanish championship, which isn't having the greater season. Villarreal knocked out Dynamo Kyiv (4:0) and Red Bull Salzburg (4:1) on the way to the quarterfinals.

According to Transfermarkt, Villarreal is worth 250 million euros and the most expensive player is stopper Pau Torres (50 million euros). The biggest stars are Spanish strikers Gerard Moreno and Paco Alcacer, and last year the great midfielder Dani Parejo from Valencia arrived.

Dinamo and Villarreal played 10 years ago in the group stage of the same competition. Dinamo won 2:0 in the first round at Maksimir and lost 0:3 in the return match in Spain.

The first quarterfinal matches are on April 8, and the return matches on April 15, while the semifinals are played on April 29 and May 6. Dinamo will host the first match in the quarterfinal and in the eventual semifinal.

The Europa League final is on May 26 in Gdansk. The winner Europa League winner will win a direct place in the group stage of the Champions League next season.

Source: Index.hr

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Thursday, 18 March 2021

What A Comeback: Dinamo Tops Tottenham in Extra Time for Historic Europa League Quarter-final Spot!

March 18, 2021 - In a wild comeback, Dinamo tops Tottenham thanks to an Oršić hattrick and books a spot in the Europa League quarterfinal! The match ended 3-0 after extra time at Maksimir Stadium on Thursday night. 

Croatian champions Dinamo met Premier League side Tottenham in the Europa League round of 16 return match at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday. In the first match in London, Tottenham won 2-0 with goals from Harry Kane.

Dinamo's backline changed compared to the first game. From the first minute, Franjić started instead of Leovac. On the other side, Son was not available to Jose Mourinho due to injury.

DINAMO: Livaković - Ristovski, Lauritsen, Theophile-Catherine, Franjić - Majer, Jakić, Ademi - Ivanušec, Petković, Oršić

TOTTENHAM: Lloris - Davies, Dier, Sanchez, Aurier - Winks, Sissoko - Moura, Alli, Lamela - Kane

After the Croatian Supreme Court upheld his verdict and imprisonment, Zoran Mamić resigned as coach of Dinamo earlier this week. Dinamo was thus led by former assistant Damir Krznar in tonight's match. 

Dinamo v. Tottenham Recap

Dinamo came out hungry to get a result that would keep them in the Europa League this season, which was evident from the start. However, there were not really dangerous opportunities from either side until the 30th-minute mark. 

The best chance of the match came from Lovro Majer who shot from the edge of the penalty area just outside the near post. One minute later, Dinamo threatened Tottenham's net again.

After two great opportunities for Dinamo, both sides calmed. Tottenham managed to win the ball again and keep possession. 

Tottenham's best chance came from Kane who was 1-on-1 with Livaković in the 44th minute, but the Dinamo goalkeeper acted brilliantly to keep the score level at the half. 

The second half saw no lineup changes. 

Dinamo's first attempt of the second half came in the 58th minute. Majer and Oršić saw their chances blocked, and Petković faked the Spurs defender only to shoot over the goal.

Gareth Bale was subbed on for Lamela two minutes later. 

Dinamo finally saw the back of the net in the 62nd minute - a stunning (and classic) Oršić shot from outside the box nailed the upper corner for the Dinamo lead! It was 1-0 with 28 minutes to go. 

Dinamo continued to attack in the remainder of the second half, giving Tottenham little chance of equalizing.

And then it happened - Atiemwen served Oršić who scored his second goal for 2-0 and extra time!

Leovac had a great chance for Dinamo in the 95th minute but served Gavranović a tough ball in front of the goal to keep the score even. Bale missed near post in the 102nd. 

The man of the hour started the second half of extra time with the unthinkable - Mislav Oršić scored a hattrick for 3-0 Dinamo! 

In the final minutes of extra time, a series of stellar saves by Livaković kept Dinamo ahead. A nail-biting ending, and the ref added two minutes of injury time. But Dinamo held on to win 3-0!

Dinamo will learn their quarter-final opponent after the Europa League draw tomorrow.

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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Zdravko Mamić Press Conference in Mostar: "Lovren and Modrić are Accomplices!"

March 16, 2021 - A Zdravko Mamić press conference was held in Mostar on Tuesday after the Croatian Supreme Court confirmed the verdict and thus a prison sentence that will send the fugitive to jail for 6.5 years.

The country's largest judicial institution has handed down a disgraceful verdict, Zdravko Mamić said at a press conference in Mostar, a day after the Supreme Court upheld an Osijek County Court ruling that the fugitive Dinamo leader was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for extracting HRK 116 from Dinamo, reports Jutarnji List and Index.hr.

In his lengthy statement, Mamić accused several judges, including Supreme Court President Djuro Sessa, of corruption and bribery. He pointed out that he will serve his prison sentence exclusively in BiH, adding that he has resigned from all positions in Dinamo.

"The largest judicial institution in the country has passed a shameful verdict. People will remain registered as criminals. There have been many political trials and staged trials in history, and this is one of them. We have not been convicted of tax evasion; it is nowhere written in the verdict. There is not a single euro of money laundering, and Dinamo, which is claimed to be damaged, claims that it is not damaged," Mamić said.

"My brother and I have not been convicted of a single kuna in taxes. Through Luka Modrić and Dejan Lovren, they have received the amounts charged to me. Luka Modrić still has millions of euros in that account, which he shared with me as an investor through a private contract. I took him as a refugee. We met and signed a money-sharing agreement; he withdrew the money, gave a part to me. No player in history has ever paid a single penny of tax. The only one in history to have paid is Dinamo," he said, adding:

"If the Mamić brothers have to return the money to the state budget, then Dejan Lovren and Luka Modrić must return it. To be fair, they are accomplices; they have the money, they came to court, we signed the annexes. Either we are in action together, or no one is in action. What kind of intelligence is needed, what kind of science is needed? How is it possible that 93 prosecution witnesses who came to Osijek testified in favor of Mamić? All 93 witnesses testified in favor of the Mamić brothers," he said.

"And the court during the trial, when it saw that everything was falling into the water, filed an indictment through its daughter company against Lovren and Modrić for false testimony." 

He accused Supreme Court President Djuro Sessa of being a criminal and a fraud.

"The man is a kleptomaniac, a criminal, and a fraud, a man who decides the law in a sovereign state of the Republic of Croatia. I am ready to put myself at the disposal of the State Attorney's Office and USKOK to prove that Sessa is a criminal and that I personally brought him money. I am ready to cooperate in proving that he is a criminal and a kidnapper of citizens' money," he said.

Mamić also accused the Osijek County Court judge Zvonko Vekić, judge Darko Krušlin, and the High Misdemeanor Court judge in Zagreb Nedjeljko Boban, of bribery.

"Vekić racketeered me, asked me to appoint him president of the court in Osijek. I paid him over EUR 500,000, and I have evidence for that," Mamić said, adding: "I have all the evidence against these thieves and criminals. There are others. The president of the court, Zvonko Vrban, is the biggest criminal who will be fired at some point," he said, emphasizing that he had informed the State Attorney's Office about everything.

Mamić emphasized that he would serve his prison sentence in Bosnia and Herzegovina if that happened.

"If that happens, I will serve my prison sentence exclusively in BiH. Lawyers know that I was never formally a fugitive, nor am I a fugitive today. When the first verdict was announced, I stayed in my home country. How can I escape from my own country," he said.

Mamić pointed out that he resigned from all positions in the club.

"I resigned my membership in the Dinamo assembly and asked to be relieved of my duties as a Dinamo advisor. I am no longer a member of any body, nor am I in formal employment. My resignations are irrevocable," Mamić said.

He called on the leading people of Dinamo to "thank the Mamić brothers."

"I am asking the leading people of the club to technically invite auditors to the club and make an inventory because that would be the biggest thank you to the Mamić brothers. It is important to know when we left and what kind of club we left. This is a delusion that we are thieves and criminals. Dinamo does not owe a penny. The results are great, this is one of the best seasons in history, and our team is worth EUR 110 million. I claim that our team is worth EUR 300 million thanks to the young talent. Dinamo is moving forward, and the club will continue where I left off," he said, adding that he fears a“ black scenario.”

"It is possible that Dinamo will not exist in three months. Dinamo is financed based on bank loans and repays them with realized transfers or future income from transfers or appearances in Europe. Suppose Dinamo were left without a title and income from the Champions League. When salaries were not paid for three months, the club would go bankrupt. It would finish in the lowest tier of the competition. We leave the club in 35th place in the UEFA rankings, and the danger is that it will disappear after a few months. I will do my best not to let that happen, even though I am not part of Dinamo. If that happens, those who caused it will be held accountable," Mamić said.

"Dinamo pays more into the budget in one year than all of Croatian sport in five years. We, who have brought historic successes and a billion euros, are exiled and doomed," he said.

He also spoke about the problem with the stadium.

"Give us back the land, and you will stop these lies and deceptions about how Dinamo is financed with taxpayers' money. It is a lie. The city takes care of the property, and that is the stadium. Give us back the land, and the citizens of Zagreb will never invest in the club again. Dinamo will build the stadium itself. Give us a concession, give us the right to build. Dinamo would build a stadium within three years, but they don't want to."

 

In addition to Zdravko Mamić, whose sentence was upheld, the Supreme Court reduced his brother Zoran Mamić's prison sentence from four years and 11 months to four years and eight months, and former tax collector Milan Pernar from four years and two months to three years and two months. Also, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict regarding the accusation that Zoran Mamić incited Pernar to abuse, and a retrial was ordered, the highest court announced.

Former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović was confirmed with a first-instance verdict, sentencing him to three years in prison, the Supreme Court added in a statement citing only the initials of the accused.

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

Thursday, 11 March 2021

Europa League Last 16: Tottenham Tops Dinamo 2:0 in London

March 11, 2021 - Tottenham tops Dinamo 2:0 in the first leg of the Europa League round of 16 tonight in London.

The Croatian champion returned to Tottenham for the first time since 2008 when they lost 4:0 in Group D of the then Uefa Cup.

Jose Mourinho's side has been in great form lately with four consecutive championship victories and a 13:1 goal difference. Tottenham is now in the fight for the first four spots leading to the Champions League, which allowed Mourinho to rest some of his starters, even though Harry Kane and Heung-min Son began from the first minute on Thursday. Gareth Bale was on the bench.

Dinamo also came to London in great form and full of confidence after a great Europa League season thus far. Mamic's team finished the group stage undefeated and topped Krasnodar in the last 32. Zoran Mamić did not make significant changes to the starting 11.

Starting lineups

Tottenham: Lloris - Davies, Dier, Sanchez, Aurier - Ndombele, Alli, Sissoko - Son, Kane, Lamela

Dinamo: Livaković - Leovac, Theophile_Catherine, Lauritsen, Ristovski - Ivanušec, Ademi, Jakić, Majer - Oršić, Petković

Tottenham v Dinamo Recap

Dinamo entered the match with confidence, and even though Tottenham pressured Dinamo's defense more in the first 20 minutes, the Zagreb side held their own. 

That is, until the 25th minute, when Lamela danced through Dinamo's defense, hit the post, only for Kane to finish for 1:0 Tottenham. 

Tottenham ended the first half with 67% possession, though they had only two more shots than Dinamo (6/4), and Dinamo had more shots on goal (2/3). 

While Tottenham maintained their momentum at the start of the second half, Petković had Dinamo's best chance in the 59th minute, shooting just near post to keep Tottenham in the lead. 

Tottenham increased its lead in the 70th minute. Theophile-Catherine weakly cleared the ball out of the box to Kane who scored his second goal for 2:0. Dinamo was unable to come back. 

Dinamo and Tottenham will meet in the return match at Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb on Thursday, March 18. 

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

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