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.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Nenad Bjelica No Longer Coach of Dinamo Zagreb

April 16, 2020 - Nenad Bjelica is no longer the coach of Dinamo Zagreb! reports that negotiations at Maksimir lasted for more than three hours on Thursday, after which Dinamo officially announced that Nenad Bjelica was no longer the coach of the Croatian champion.

"GNK Dinamo and Nenad Bjelica have agreed to terminate their business cooperation. The club thanks Nenad Bjelica for his cooperation so far and the results he has achieved as the coach for Dinamo."

No details of the painful breakup are known so far. It should be reminded that by the end of the contract, Dinamo should have paid Bjelica just over two million euro.

Nenad Bjelica arrived at Maksimir this morning after 9 am to discuss terminating his contract. Dinamo had already written off the coach who brought the club the biggest success in Europe in the last 50 years as he did not agree to a reduced salary.

"The breakup was mutual, we didn't even get to fight," Bjelica told reporters.

What caught everyone's eye on Thursday is that Bjelica got out of a car with Split license plates. Namely, he arrived for negotiations with Split lawyer Tomislav Kasal. Kasal is a lawyer representing the Football Union Association and Hajduk and is a member of FIFA's Disputes Commission. He also represents a few Dinamo players.

The club was allegedly surprised that Bjelica arrived with a lawyer for his first interview at the club after the outbreak of the conflict. According to information from close sources, Bjelica did not forget about the dismissed members of his coaching staff who were not entitled to compensation and wanted to settle them in this breakup.

The new coach will be the current expert at the helm of the young squad, Igor Jovicic, which the club should soon confirm. So far, he is the only candidate for Bjelica's successor.

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

Sunday, 12 April 2020

How Much Did Market Value Decrease for Players in Croatian First League?

April 12, 2020 - How has the market value dropped for players of Dinamo, Rijeka, Hajduk, and Osijek? A look at the player value of the Croatian First League from the beginning of March to present. reports that the coronavirus pandemic has caused a decline in market value for all footballers. This situation was expected, however, because the sport has been paralyzed, competitions have been suspended or postponed, and the deadlines are still in question. 

Transfermarkt, the world's most popular football transfer site, has announced that the market value of all players born before January 1, 1998, is down 20 percent, while those born after that date are down 10 percent.

So, how has the market value dropped for players of Dinamo, Rijeka, Hajduk, and Osijek? A comparison from the beginning of March to the present.

The biggest decrease was recorded for Dinamo's Bruno Petkovic and Dominic Livakovic, both of whom dropped 2.5 million euro. However, they remain at the top of the most expensive Croatian championship players.

Namely, before the pandemic, Petkovic was worth 13.5 million euro, while Livakovic was worth 13 million euro. They were accompanied by Mislav Oršić, whose market value was 9.5 million euro. Petkovic is now worth 11 million, Livakovic 10.5, and Orsic is estimated at 7.5 million euro, enough to keep him in third place.

With the example of Petkovic, Livakovic and Orsic, it is easy to conclude that Dinamo's market value has dropped the most, but it is not difficult to assume that the current Croatian champion still holds the most expensive lineup in the Championship.

Dinamo's players had totaled 97 million euro, and their total value now stands at 79.4 million euro, down 18.2 percent.

The coronavirus price drop has has hit Dinamo's Izet Hajrovic the hardest, whose value has been falling since last summer. In July, Hajrovic was worth 3 million euro, and today, his price is only 1.2 million euro. This is a staggering 60 percent drop. He was worth 1.5 million euro before the pandemic.

The overall value of Hajduk players fell by 17.2 percent. Hajduk players were worth 24 million euro, while their value now is 20 million euro.

Hajduk's most expensive player remains Mijo Caktaš, who was worth 3.5 million euro and is now estimated at 2.8 million euro. The price for Josip Juranovic fell half a million euro, and he is now worth two million euro. Brazilian Jairo also dropped by half a million euro, too, and is now worth 1.6 million euro.

A drop similar to Hajduk's was also recorded by Rijeka, whose team was worth 20.5 million euro before the pandemic, and is now worth 16.9 million euro, which is down 17.6 percent.

The price of Antonio Colak from Rijeka dropped from 3 million euro to 2.4 million euro. The value of his teammates Alexander Gorgon and Franko Andrijasevic is now worth 1.6 million euro each, down by 400,000 euro each.

It is impossible to say for the time being if there will be any further reductions in the football market soon, but it is evident that these declines are significant, considering the total sum of all Croatian First League players dropped by 16.3 percent, or from 226.6 million to 189.7 million euro.

This is a decrease of 36 million euro, which is almost equal to the current market value of players from Hajduk and Rijeka, amounting to 36.9 million euro.


Dominik Livakovic - €10.5 million (€13.5 million)
Danijel Zagorac - €475,000 (€600,000)
Dino Peric - €4.8 million (€6 million)
Kevin Theophile Catherine - €4 million (€5 million)
Emir Dilaver - €3.2 million (€4 million)
Josko Gvardiol - €1.3 million (€1.5 million)
Francois Moubandje - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Marin Leovac - €725,000 (€900,000)
Petar Stojanovic - €1.2 million (€1.5 million)
Sadegh Moharrami - €600,000 (€750,000)
Nikola Moro - €5.8 million (€6.5 million)
Arian Ademi - €7 million (€5 million)
Marko Djira - €1.3 million (€1.5 million)
Amer Gojak - €7 million (€5.5 million)
Luka Ivanusec - €3.6 million (€4 million)
Lovro Mayer - €2.3 million (€2.5 million)
Mislav Oršić - €7.5 million (€9.5 million)
Antonio Marin - €1.3 million (€1.5 million)
Damian Kadzior - €2.4 million (€3 million)
Izet Hajrovic - €1.2 million (€1.5 million)
Bruno Petkovic - €13.5 million (€11 million)
Mario Gavranovic - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Sandro Kulenovic - €1.3 million (€1.5 million)
Mario Ćuže - €775,000 (€850,000)


Josip Posavec - €1 million (€1.3 million)
Marin Ljubić - €600,000 (€750,000)
Goran Blažević - €50,000 (€50,000)
Stefan Simić - €800,000 (€1 million)
Ardian Ismajli - €800,000 (€1 million)
Nihad Mujakic - €800,000 (€750,000)
Mario Vuskovic - €600,000 (€525,000)
Kristian Dimitrov - €400,000 (€500,000)
Stipe Vucur - €300,000 (€350,000)
Stipe Radic - €100,000
David Colina - €900,000 (€1 million)
Josip Juranovic - €2 million (€ 2.5 million)
Josip Bašić - €150,000
Darko Nejašmić - €1.8 million (€2 million)
Stanko Juric - €750,000 (€900,000)
Mijo Caktas - €2.7 million (€3.5 million)
Hamza Barry - €800,000 (€1 million)
Bassel Jradi - €800,000 (€1 million)
Jakov Blagaić - €300,000
Loen Krekovic - €50,000
Jairo da Silva - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Ivan Dolček - €450,000 (€500,000)
Samuel Eduok - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Francesco Tahiraj - €300,000 (€450,000)
Marin Jakoliš - €400,000 (€500,000)


Andrej Prskalo - €400,000 (€500,000)
David Nwolokor - €250,000
Ivor Pandur - €250,000 (€150,000)
Hrvoje Smolčić - €750,000 (€850,000)
Nino Galovic - €600,000 (€750,000)
Joao Escoval - €400,000 (€500,000)
Darko Velkovski - €400,000 (€500,000)
Jasmin Celikovic - €150,000 (€200,000)
Daniel Stefulj - €300,000 (€250,000)
Muhammad Kabiru - €50,000
Ivan Tomečak - €550,000 (€750,000)
Momcilo Raspopovic - €475,000 (€600,000)
Ivan Lepinjica - €900,000 (€1 million)
Luka Capan - €525,000 (€650,000)
Domagoj Pavicic - €1.2 million (€1.5 million)
Stjepan Loncar - €1.2 million (€1.5 million)
Franko Andrijasevic - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Tibor Halilovic - €800,000 (€1 million)
Dani Iglesias - €250,000 (€350,000)
Alexander Gorgon - €1.6 million (€2 million)
Felipe Pires - €750,000 (€900,000)
Robert Muric - €750,000 (€900,000)
Antonio Colak - €2.4 million (€3 million)
Sterling Yateke - €300,000


Ivica Ivusic - €650,000 (€800,000)
Marko Malenica - €600,000 (€750,000)
Mile Skoric - €1.4 million (€1.8 million)
Ante Majstorovic - €1.2 million (€1.5 million)
Guti - €525,000 (€650,000)
Danijel Loncar - €300,000 (€400,000)
Talys - €675,000 (€750,000)
Igor Silva - €650,000 (€800,000)
Alen Grgić - €550,000 (€700,000)
Tomislav Sorsa - €150,000 (€250,000)
Mihael Žaper - €900,000 (€1 million)
Vedran Jugovic - €350,000 (€450,000)
Laszlo Kleinheisler - €1.4 million (€1.7 million)
Marin Pilj - €400,000 (€500,000)
Karlo Kamenar - €300,000
Dmytro Lopa - €300,000 (€350,000)
Petar Bockaj - €675,000 (€850,000)
Marveil Ndockyt - €575,000 (€650,000)
Eros Grezda - €1.1 million (€1.35 million)
Josip Špoljarić - €300,000 (€350,000)
Mirko Maric - €3.2 million (€4 million)
Antonio Mance - €1 million (€1.3 million)
Jerry Mbakogu - €400,000 (€500,000)

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



Friday, 10 April 2020

Will Croatian Football Survive Corona? Damir Miskovic of HNK Rijeka Weighs In

April 10, 2020 - Damir Miskovic, the owner and president of HNK Rijeka, talks about the realities of Croatian football after the coronavirus. 

Nearly one month has passed since almost all sports competitions have stopped around the world. The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world as we know it; it has not only stopped sports, but many other branches, and the real consequences of it are yet to come. Sports will be one of the hardest hit.

This is illustrated by the fact that clubs around the world are laying off, or at least furloughing many employees and reducing player wages. Without matches, there is no income, and without income, there is no money to pay off contractual obligations.

If they are already doing this in some of the world's biggest and richest clubs, why would it be any different in Croatia?

Damir Mišković, president of HNK Rijeka, who has been pumping his money into the club for years, tried to explain in an interview with that this is a narrow view of the current situation and that the consequences of this pandemic will be more far-reaching than what is seen at the moment. 

Why was cutting wages in Rijeka necessary? 

"Cutting is an ugly word; I would say we pulled specific measures in a specific situation. We need to understand that the economy of the world in all segments, including sports, will get other dimensions, whether we like it or not. I'm always optimistic, and when I say something pessimistic, I am realistic. This is just the beginning of a major crisis in the world that will lead to a major crisis in sports, both in Croatia and in the world. Who will think of athletes when people who own businesses have to quit?"

What did the first team players conclude at a recent meeting regarding this situation, when the proposal to reanimate the First Team Association was rejected?

"We will have a lot to change in the next 2-3 years. All the HNL clubs were talking about this 3-4 weeks ago. Maybe some didn't understand the gravity of the situation, but now they understand it. We come up with common proposals, but then each club has a specific situation. We have come to an agreement that we need to see how much money anyone will need at their financial level to endure a year, because if some fail, we will not have a League. To say the least, in Inter or Varaždin, a salary of 2000 kuna is a lot, with us it is 2000 euros, a maximum of five or seven thousand, depending on the contract. We talked about it. Now Fifa has helped us too, because if we can't pay the players, we can only give them the papers, because everyone has the right to ask for what the contract should be."

What consequences will the clubs feel in the long run?

"I find it funny when someone says that football is losing nothing. It loses by not playing, that’s number one. Rijeka has enough fans; we have about 5500 regular spectators. When they come, there are more sponsors. If the players do not play, they cannot even show themselves and thus sell themselves, or they can be sold for less money. And our clubs live on sales and that is 80% of their revenue, in fact, the only normal income.

The crisis is already felt, most of the sponsors, big or small, are gone, and that money has paid some expenses, whether it be the working community, electricity, water, mowing the grass... Well, the sponsor who gives you beer in the stadium no longer works. When a small club comes to Dinamo or Hajduk, they earn a month's salary. Additionally, if the season continues, say, in June, players will have about three weeks of preparation after doing nothing for two months. My coaches tell me this is impossible. There will certainly be more injuries that will not allow players to be sold again."

Can the situation in the HNL be compared to that in the stronger leagues?

"We like to watch Barcelona, but we have a lot less to measure. We have to watch our league as it is, and it's much better than it was eight years ago when I came.

I have contacts with people, presidents or directors of the clubs in the League; they are not even thinking about buying or selling today, as rich as they are, just looking at cutting costs and surviving the next year or two."

And how to survive?

"If we tighten the belt and hold it for 10 months, things might get better. If not, we will all sit down together, have a drink, have fun, and go our own way. It will be one hell of a year. People won't have tickets. TV rights? Who will pay for the packages to watch the matches? I'm covered with these measures for the next six months, some clubs will have them in three months, some only for a month, and then what? We all need to survive together, so it will be easy to argue again whether it was offside or not."

Could Croatian football be helped today by the First League Association, called by some?

"It's been four years and what have we done? We did not agree on the ball, joint jersey manufacturers, TV rights, sponsors, nothing. We would be in Zagreb, having lunch together and we did nothing.

If you ask me if we need the First League Association, yes, we do. But it's like the Opatija Initiative, three years ago when we put together a proposal for the systematic financing of sports from TV rights, bookmakers... competition. We would cover 260,000 athletes in Croatia, each sport would have its own representative, and below would be separate bodies, this is how it works. We did the distribution by sports and by clubs, everything was included. To bring together 5-6 trophy sports, so which would be a bigger force in negotiating with sponsors or on TV rights?

But for starters, all football clubs and their representatives, through the HNS Commission with Mr Markulin at the helm, need to talk and come up with models and show that we are able to find sponsors and that we can have an association that produces money for clubs."

If everything goes back to normal, how can you better sell your Croatian football product in the future?

"There are about 160,000 subscribers to HNL channels in Croatia. And where are those pirating? To regulate this would be three times the number of subscribers. Cafes pay the same subscription as individuals, filling 50 seats during a match and everyone watching football for the price of one. They may not have to pay 50 times more, but five times more would be a major shift.

We also get nothing from bookmakers. If someone is watching us and betting on our matches, where is our share?

Furthermore, how many tourists, visiting fans, come to European matches? How many hotels do they get extra nights? We bring thousands of tourists, yet we still have to pay various taxes and surtaxes.

We need to understand that sport is not a profitable branch. Players earn, managers earn, but clubs do not. Sport should be cultivated for people to do sports instead of nonsense, but there is no income there."

How would you comment on the government measures taken today to assist sports associations and clubs in the wake of the corona crisis?

"NK Rijeka is not entitled to benefits for the working community because the City of Rijeka has a 30% stake in the club, but I have to praise the Sports Office for having done this, no one has bothered so much, and that is a step."

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

Tuesday, 7 April 2020

Croatian Football Federation Proposes Three Calendar Options to Finish Season

April 7, 2020 - The Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation has adopted changes to the competition calendar in the 1st and 2nd Croatian League and Croatian Cup, taking into account the current COVID-19 pandemic. Also, new licensing deadlines have been set.

According to the recommendation of the umbrella European football organization, 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 the Republic of 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

You can find the suggested calendar options with all competition dates, including the semi-finals and finals of the Croatian Cup HERE.

In addition, the Executive Board, in accordance with the recommendation of UEFA, extended all deadlines related to deciding on the licensing and, therefore, amendments to the Rules on Licensing of HNS Clubs were made. The new deadlines are as follows:

First instance decision: May 15, 2020
First instance decision delivered: May 20, 2020
Deadline for appeal: May. 28, 2020.
Final licensing decision: by June 15, 2020
Final decision to refuse the license: by June 15, 2020
Submission of the list of license seekers: by June 20, 2020.

Finally, as recommended by UEFA, criterion F.05 "Future Financial Information" (Articles 35-40 of the Regulations) will not apply in this year's licensing process.

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



Thursday, 26 March 2020

HNS Publishes Daily Training Videos for Young Croatian Footballers at Home

March 26, 2020 - The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) will publish daily videos featuring individual training sessions intended for young Croatian footballers to perform in their own home, yard or garage.

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, more than 100,000 young footballers in Croatia have been left with no opportunity to train and enjoy football.

Therefore, the Croatian Football Federation has organized a ‘train at home’ project during which they will publish daily videos with individual training that young footballers can perform at home, without additional equipment and supplies.

The project was created by HNS Chief Instructor Petar Krpan and HNS conditioning instructor Ivan Krakan, in collaboration with a working group of representatives of the 1st HNL Youth Clubs. The working group was established in December during the HNS winter camp, consisting of representatives from Osijek (Miroslav Žitnjak), Rijeka (Edo Flego), Lokomotiva (Jurica Čabraja), Hajduk (Andro Fistonić), Dinamo (Anđelko Ivanjko) and Slaven Belupa ( Vedran Medenjak).

The goal of the project is to encourage young footballers, but also all other athletes, to use their time for physical activity and refining their skills during this crisis. The training will be available daily on HNS's YouTube channel, as well as on HNS's Instagram and Facebook pages.

"We know players in professional club schools will receive quality instruction during this 'forced break', but HNS's mission is to care for more than 100,000 young football players across the country. Fortunately, we live in a time where technology can reach everyone individually at home.

We believe this is an ideal way to provide young Croatian footballers with instruction from top coaches and fitness professionals and encourage them to work for themselves in these challenging times. We are sure that conducting this training will make it easier to stay at home for boys and girls who are certainly having a difficult time being away from training, the ball, and teammates. That being said - to a healthy body, and healthy spirit! Work out at home!", said HNS Chief Instructor Petar Krpan.

HNS emphasized that all training is intended exclusively for independent work in one's own home.

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

Wednesday, 25 March 2020

NK Osijek, Dinamo Significantly Reduce Wages for Players and Employees

March 25, 2020 - NK Osijek and Dinamo Zagreb are the first two Croatian clubs to reduce the wages of players and employees during the corona crisis.

Drastic times call for drastic measures, and during the corona era, we’ve seen athletes around the world hit hard by the effects of the global pandemic. 

Croatian sport has been on hold since the beginning of the month, which has been especially tough for Croatian football. While HNS announced that the league must end no later than June 28, we’re still unsure of a potential start date, as Croatia is on lockdown until April 19. 

Clubs are struggling to stay alive, and players and employees are the ones having the suffer. 

Namely, the players of NK Osijek were offered a salary cut due to the coronavirus crisis, which they accepted, reports Glas Slavonije.

Thus, the club will reduce salaries by 50%, and 25% will be paid back when they return to the pitch.

They were the first club in Croatia to make this move, which we believe many more will follow to avoid financial problems.

"We were the first to decide on such measures, but I believe that all other clubs will very quickly do the same thing," said Osijek President Ivan Mestrovic.

Of course, this will not be an easy period for footballers and employees alike, but in the long run, this might be the saving grace.

After Osijek, Dinamo became the second Croatian club to reduce costs by reducing player and employee wages due to the coronavirus crisis, reports Nogomet Plus.

Unlike Osijek, whose employees and players will receive 50% lower pay (25% of which are non-refundable) until football resumes at Maksimir, they have opted for even more drastic measures. Namely, employees and players will receive only a third in the next six months - one third will be paid after the start of the competition, and one third will have to be given up permanently.

In its statement, the Dinamo Management stated:

“From the onset of the crisis caused by the Coronavirus - Covid 19, the management of GNK Dinamo has been in constant session and analysis of the consequences of the global crisis that caused the world economy to stall and completely halt our core business in sport. 

The strategy that we have decided to counteract the consequences of this crisis on society as a whole, and in particular on sport and football as its most prominent part, aims at preserving all jobs in Dinamo. This means that we strive to ensure that none of our players, coaches, physicians, physiotherapists, economists, stadium maintenance workers, and club administration are jobless and secure the conditions to live and function in dignity at this globally critical moment.

In order to succeed in this, all the stakeholders of the club must bear the brunt of this crisis, in proportion to their income and the other benefits of playing for and being employed by Dinamo. Considering the uncertainty of the continuation of the competition, the postponement of EURO 2020, the unknown start date of the new season in Croatia and Europe, the unknown about the timing and extent of the summer deadline and the overall economic crisis that has arisen, primarily to preserve the overall stability and liquidity of our club, the management of GNK DINAMO made the following decisions:

Employees earning more than HRK 7,500.00 (average income of the City of Zagreb) will be paid this amount and the difference up to the full amount of the salary as follows:

- one-third of the difference between the average income and the full amount of salary is paid regularly

- one-third will be paid within six months from the date of the first official game of GNK Dinamo

- one-third of the salary will not be paid permanently

- this measure shall be valid until 30 September 2020 and shall enter into force immediately.

2. Players and coaches will be paid as follows:

- one-third of the benefits will be paid on a regular basis

- one-third of the proceeds will be paid within six months of the date of the first official game of GNK Dinamo

- one-third of the benefits will not be paid permanently

- this measure shall be valid until 30 September 2020 and shall enter into force immediately.

3. The next two team preparations will be held in Croatia without going to the usual foreign destinations

4. This year's edition of the Mladen Ramljak Memorial Tournament is completely canceled

5. We continue to take additional measures to reduce all costs other than those necessary for the functioning of the Club

The decision shall take effect immediately. In these moments, we invite all players, coaches and employees to contribute with their positivity and community to the Club to continue its sports success and maintain its status as a leader in the sports excellence of Croatia and this part of Europe.

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

Thursday, 12 March 2020

After Banning Fans, HNS Suspends All Croatian Football Games Until March 31

March 12, 2020 - The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has decided to suspend all football competitions until March 31, 2020.

“In accordance with the recommendation of the Central State Office for Sport on the postponement of all international and national sports competitions at all levels, taking into account the recommendations of the Civil Protection Staff and the new situation in the Republic of Croatia, i.e., the increase in the number of infected, the Executive Board of the Croatian Football Federation and the competent authorities have decided to stop all football competitions in Croatia - men's, women's, futsal all HNS leagues, inter-county and county leagues, the Croatian Cup, or all matches of youth, seniors and veterans - until March 31, 2020.

For training, it is recommended to adhere to all the hygiene and safety instructions of the National Civil Protection Headquarters in order to be conducted in the safest possible conditions for the health of the athletes.

As before, HNS will closely monitor the development of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic and, as recommended by the public health institutions, determine new measures, taking into account, in particular, the health of football players, spectators and all other football actors. The football family and the public will be informed in due time of any further measures,” HNS announced on its website.

Recall, the management of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) adopted a new measure on Wednesday aimed at protecting spectators, clubs, players and competitions during the coronavirus outbreak.

The statement from the Croatian Football Federation is transmitted in full below:

“Taking into account the emerging circumstances regarding the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, today the leading people of the HNS and the relevant bodies of the Federation have re-analyzed the current situation and decided that all matches in competitions under the jurisdiction of the HNS will be played without spectators until March 31.

The new measure applies to the HT First League, Croatian Cup, 2. HNL, 3. HNL, 1. HNLŽ, 2. HNLŽ, 1. HMNL, 2. HMNL and all youth leagues under the auspices of HNS, as well as the upcoming UEFA qualifying matches that take place in Croatia.

In these competitions, only teams with their staff, senior management and officials of clubs and HNS, technical staff and a certain number of media representatives will be able to attend the matches until further notice, with all the usual measures for organizing matches.

The HNS also recommends that all county associations take the same measure in competitions under their jurisdiction.

As before, the HNS will closely monitor the development of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus epidemic and, if necessary, determine other measures to which the football family and the public will be informed in due time. The decision shall enter into force immediately and shall be valid until March 31 or the end of the representative break. The Federation will make a timely decision to continue or discontinue this measure, taking into account developments, recommendations from public health institutions, and considering, above all, the health of spectators, football players and all other actors in football."

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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Coronavirus in Croatian Football: Rijeka and Istra Without Fans, Lokomotiva Limiting Spectators

March 10, 2020 - A closer look at how the coronavirus outbreak is effecting Croatian football.

Following the announced measures of the Croatian Civil Protection Staff from March 9, the relevant bodies of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) issued instructions for playing football matches in the following period.

The following instructions have been determined by the leadership of the Croatian Football Federation, headed by President Davor Šuker and Executive Director Marijan Kustić, HNS Executive Board, HNS Medical Commission with President prof. Dr Dragan Primorac, HNS Competition Commission led by President Ante Vučemilović-Šimunović, Commission of Football Referees with President Anto Kulušić, HT First League Competition Commissioner Josip Brezni and HNS Security Commissioner Miroslav Marković:

1. It is obligatory to adhere to all decisions, measures and recommendations which he has prescribed and which will be prescribed by the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia or other competent state institutions.

2. Considering the HNS competition calendar, all competitions under the HNS's jurisdiction shall continue with or without spectators.

3. Match organizers are obliged to fully respect and implement the measures of the Civil Protection Staff of the Republic of Croatia.

4. We emphasize the obligation of the organizers to obtain the consent of the County Civil Protection Headquarters and the competent Institute of Public Health regarding the fulfillment of the prescribed conditions for the organization of the match before the matches.

The Croatian Football Federation will continue to closely monitor the situation with the epidemic of the new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and will, if necessary, determine new measures and issue new instructions, which will be notified to the football family and the public promptly.

In accordance with the recommendation of the Civil Protection Staff, the opinion of the County Institute of Public Health of Istria County and the decision of the Croatian Football Federation to continue the competition, Istra 1961 announced that its 27th and 28th round HNL games, scheduled on March 14 and 21, will be played without spectators.

On Saturday, March 14, Rijeka will visit Pula to play Istra, while a week later, Hajduk will visit Aldo Drosina Stadium.

"Both games will be played without the presence of spectators and there will be no ticket sales," the first-league team from Pula said.

The Istrian Institute of Public Health on Tuesday issued special recommendations to prevent the coronavirus epidemic, which, among other things, delays all outdoor and indoor gatherings, from children's events and birthdays, to sports, cultural, business and other events.

The Istra decision was only the first since Rijeka and Varazdin later came forward. Both have suspended ticket sales for their next home games.

Varazdin will host Dinamo on Sunday, March 15, and three days later, Rijeka will host Osijek in the Croatian Cup semi-finals. Both Varazdin and Rijeka have stopped selling tickets for those duels.

Lokomotiva will host Osijek at Kranjceviceva stadium on Friday from 6 pm.

'According to the published measures of the Civil Protection Headquarters of the Republic of Croatia, NK Lokomotiva, as the host of the match, will adhere to the maximum extent and implement all instructions, measures and recommendations regarding the organization of the match by the County Civil Protection Headquarters and the Institute of Public Health.

The maximum number of viewers will be 1,000.

NK Lokomotiva will provide checkpoints with disinfectants and urges viewers to refrain from the usual non-verbal communication that involves shaking hands and avoiding closer social contact.'

The club also urges fans with respiratory illness and/or fever (greater than 37.5 C) not to attend the match.

Tickets are purchased exclusively at the stadium ticket office on the day of the match, two hours before the start of the meeting (from 4:00 pm). 

Hajduk will play against Inter Zapresic at Poljud on Sunday at 3 pm as part of the 27th round. It is the first of two championship matches to be played in front of the empty stands because of the penalty that HNK Hajduk received for violations committed during the Hajduk - Dinamo match played on March 4.

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Tuesday, 10 March 2020

HNL Round 26 Recap: Hajduk Drops to 4th Place after Adriatic Derby Loss

March 10, 2020 - The 26th round of the Croatian First League was played from March 7-9, 2020. This round featured the ‘Adriatic Derby’ between Rijeka and Hajduk, which Rijeka won at Rujevica Stadium.

Inter Zapresic v. Slaven Belupo (0:2)

Inter and Belupo opened the 26th round in Zapresic on Friday, March 7, 2020, in front of 136 fans.

Bogojevic scored the first goal of the game in the 28th minute for 0:1, while Lulic increased the lead in the 43rd minute for the final score of 0:2 for Belupo.

Inter is currently in 9th place with 17 points, while Belupo is in 7th with 26.

Osijek v. Varazdin (2:0)

Osijek and Varazdin met on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at City Garden Stadium in front of 1,715 fans.

Osijek scored both goals in the first half - Loncar scored in the 25th minute, while Maric made it 2:0 in the 27th. 

Osijek is currently in 5th place with 42 points, while Varazdin is in the last place with 17 points.

Dinamo v. Istra 1961 (2:0)

Dinamo and Istra met on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at Maksimir Stadium in front of 2,474 fans.

Dilaver scored in the 2nd minute for an early 1:0 lead. Majer increased Dinamo’s lead to 2:0 in the 69th minute for the final score of the game. 

Dinamo is currently in 1st place with 65 points, while Istra is in 8th with 19. 

Rijeka v. Hajduk (2:0)

Rijeka and Hajduk met on Sunday, March 8, 2020, at Rujevica Stadium in front of 7,326 fans. 

Both of Rijeka’s goals came in the second half - Colak scored for 1:0 in the 61st minute, while Gorgon scored 11 minutes later in the 72nd for 2:0. 

Rijeka has jumped over Hajduk to 2nd place with 47 points, while Hajduk has fallen to 4th place with 45 points. 

Gorica v. Lokomotiva (1:3)

Gorica and Lokomotiva closed out the 26th round on Monday, March 9, 2020, in Velika Gorica in front of 1,357 fans. 

While the first half went without goals, Steenvoorden scored for the Gorica lead in the 53rd minute, though Atiemwen equalized in the 62nd for 1:1. 

Uzini scored two goals in the 75th and 87th minutes for the Lokomotiva win. 

Gorica is currently in 6th place with 35 points, while Lokomotiva has moved to 3rd place with 46.

You can see the full HNL table here.

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