Wednesday, 20 July 2022

New Security Protocol Introduced for High-Risk Football Matches in Croatia

July 20, 2022 - A new security protocol for high-risk football matches in Croatia has been introduced. 

At the Ministry of Internal Affairs headquarters, the Protocol on security at high-risk matches was signed, reports Gol.hr.

The protocol was signed by the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs, Davor Božinović, and the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić.

The signed Protocol regulates the cooperation in the actions of HNS, clubs, and the police at high-risk matches, in the stadium area and at the stadium, during the preparation and implementation of measures for the arrival of fans at the stadium, their stay at the stadium, and their return from the stadium, all to prevent illegal behavior.

The President of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić, thanked the Ministry of the Interior for adopting and signing this Protocol, which will be of help to the clubs and significantly contribute to increasing the safety of fans in stadiums, at Supersport HNL matches and, of course, the Croatia national team:

"We as a Federation will do everything to encourage better cooperation between clubs and, of course, cooperation between clubs and their fans," concluded the president of the Croatian Football Federation.

"The fact is that the security aspect is important to hold football matches, and the police are the ones who take care of public order and safety. The police are responsible for any public gathering, and football matches, especially some, gather tens of thousands of people, and that's why we decided that, in agreement with everyone, we will create a procedural document that will provide answers to everything that has been shown to us in practice as a possible source of unrest, dissatisfaction, and even physical confrontations," Minister Božinović explained.

The Protocol precisely prescribes the procedures that will have to be followed, and they were adopted after an agreement with the Croatian Football Federation, the football clubs, and their security commissioners, or the people who are in charge of the security aspect of the Croatian football clubs.

"We worked intensively on preparing this protocol and did not stay only within the Croatian framework. As you know, we went to Geneva and spoke with the leading people of UEFA, who participate in all these, especially international matches. We explained and presented how we intend to solve it, and I can freely say that we have come to an understanding," Minister Božinović explained.

Minister Božinović also stated that all high-risk matches would be coordinated from the headquarters of the Croatian police, headed by the deputy director general of the police Damir Barić, who was accompanied by the director general of the police Nikola Milina and the head of the administration of public order and security, Dragan Tokić.

"In the operational sense, nothing will be left to chance from the moment the match is declared high-risk, which is declared by the Police Directorate based on some dynamic indicators," said Minister Božinović.

He also explained how they were guided by the common goal of creating conditions in which people would freely come to football matches, in which families would go as they used to, and that everyone would feel as safe as possible. As an additional goal, which, according to what was seen after the Super Cup match and the 1st round of the HNL, is being achieved. He pointed out that reports are written after the matches.

"The standard we are setting now must be the standard for the time to come, and there will certainly be no relaxation when we talk about the behavior of all those who are responsible for security both on the side of HNS and the clubs," concluded Minister Božinović.

The most important thing to point out is the defined rule that should avoid a new "Desinec case" and the clash between Torcida and the police on the highway, that is, the problems that preceded the last derby at Maksimir last season. 

- In cooperation with the representative of the visiting fans, the visiting club will provide refreshments (drinks and food) for the visiting fans during the trip to the match and when returning from the match.

- The home club will provide sanitary facilities and access to drinks and food at the locations of the planned gathering of visiting fans upon their arrival and/or in the stadium area.

- In communication with the visiting club, if necessary, the police will, following the security assessment, implement additional measures to secure the locations intended for visiting fans to rest on the way to the football match and the way back.

The protocol can be read in its entirety here.

To read more about sports in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page

 

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

FIFA Approves: Igor Matanović Will Play for Croatia!

May 25, 2022 - 19-year-old German-born Igor Matanović will play for the Croatia national team!

Igor Matanović, the Eintracht Frankfurt striker currently on loan to St. Pauli, born on March 31, 2003, in Hamburg, played in the younger ranks of the German national team. However, his Croatian roots pulled him toward the homeland and representing Croatia. Therefore, the Croatian Football Federation initiated proceedings with FIFA to change his football citizenship and acquire the right to play for Croatia, reports HNS.

FIFA approved the change on Tuesday and confirmed that Matanović could immediately defend the colors of Croatia. Furthermore, Croatia U-21 coach Igor Bišćan invited him to the national team for the upcoming qualifying matches in Norway and Estonia at the end of the fight for a spot at the European Championships.

"I am thrilled that the procedure with FIFA has been completed and that Croatia will be stronger in the future thanks to another talented player who looks forward to wearing the Croatia jersey. I want to thank all the Croatian Football Federation services for excellent work - Pletikosa and U-21 coach Igor Bišćan. With the secretary of the younger teams, Josip Tomašek, they actively participated in this process from the very beginning. It is also worth mentioning Ivica Olić, who made quality contact with Igor and his family, and I am sure that the inclusion of coach Zlatko Dalić also played a significant role. We showed great unity, everyone got involved, and obviously, Igor and his family recognized that," said the president of the Croatian Football Federation, Marijan Kustić.

"Of course, we are extremely pleased that FIFA made this decision in Matanović's case. I am sure that with his football knowledge and skills, he can immediately make a great contribution to the further success of the Croatia national teams, and his right to play for Croatia is a successful continuation of the Croatian Football Federation's efforts to put many quality players from the diaspora in our jersey. Stanišić, Sučić, Vidović, and Pašalić have already made great gains, and we will continue to work in that direction. With all deserving individuals in the Federation, from the coaches Dalić and Bišćan through Ivica Olić to President Kustić, who gave us great support in these activities, it is also worth thanking the lawyers who prepared the extensive documentation very well and presented the whole case to Fifa's body and enabled this decision to be made," said Technical Director Stipe Pletikosa.

You can read more about Igor here.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated travel section.

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

HNS Secures EUR 44 million for Croatian Football TV and Media Rights Over Next 4 Years

February 22, 2022 - The Croatian Football Federation has secured 44 million euros for Croatian football TV and media rights over the next four competition years.

At Monday's session, the Croatian Football Federation Executive Board decided on selecting partners for television and media rights for competitions under the auspices of HNS for the next four competition years, reports the HNS website

After terminating the contract with Endorphin Magine, the HNS management held meetings with companies interested in buying TV and media rights, followed by three official offers to purchase TV rights - A1 Croatia, Hrvatski Telekom, Sportklub and AB SportConsulting. At the same time, the SuperSport offer for media rights arrived.

At the session, the HNS Executive Board considered the three received offers and chose Hrvatski Telekom, which was the most generous of 9 million euros per year. Thus, in the four years that the contract is expected to last, Hrvatski Telekom will pay 36 million euros to HNS for the associated TV rights.

In addition, the SuperSport offer for media rights of 1.5 million euros per competition year for sponsorship rights and 500,000 euros per competition year for betting rights was accepted.

In total, HNS has secured 44 million euros for television and media rights over the next four years.

"As we announced last week, we quickly found the best solution for Croatian clubs and Croatian football as a whole. Negotiations with interested companies showed great interest in Croatian club football and accepted offers from HT and SuperSport best confirm this great value.

We are glad to continue our cooperation with Hrvatski Telekom, which has been a great partner of Croatian football for many years, so we do not doubt that this cooperation will be very successful. This is an unprecedented step forward for the Federation and our clubs, and I am convinced that these 44 million euros will ensure further progress in the First League and all other competitions," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

An agreement has also been made between Hrvatski Telekom and HRT, according to which one match of each round will be broadcast on national television.

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

 

Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Croatia to Play in Doha Friendly Tournament this March as 2022 World Cup Prep

February 2, 2022 - The Croatia national team will participate in a Doha friendly tournament next month as preparation for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar this December. 

The Croatian Football Federation management has agreed that the Croatia national team will play a friendly tournament in Qatar in March. Croatia will play two matches in Doha, reports HNS.

Croatia will face Slovenia on March 26 and will play Bulgaria three days later. The national team of Qatar will also play in the tournament, against Bulgaria (March 26) and Slovenia (March 29). The matches will be played at the stadiums in Doha where the FIFA World Cup matches will be played. The exact timetables and stadiums will be defined later, and HNS will inform fans in a timely manner about the possibilities of buying tickets.

"We wanted to play in Doha in March, so I thank the leadership of the Federation for agreeing to participate in this tournament - it will be a great opportunity to get to know Qatar and feel the conditions that await us - climate, infrastructure, culture.

I think the opponents are tailor-made, two quality teams that will be a good test for what awaits us next. First of all, we are looking forward to the gathering, to continue to build a community that will be key to success in the competitions that await us later in the year," said the Croatia national team coach, Zlatko Dalić.

"We are glad that we have reached an agreement on participating in this tournament in Doha, given the desire of the coach Dalić and the national team to play in Qatar, so that we can acclimatize to everything that awaits us at the end of the year. The most important thing is that our direct placement in Qatar has enabled us a peaceful year in which we can prepare well for the World Cup, and participating in this tournament will be an important step in that direction," said HNS President Marijan Kustić.

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

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Historic Day: Referee Ivana Martinčić First Woman to Lead Croatian First League Match

September 9, 2021 - 36-year-old Croatian football referee Ivana Martinčić from Koprivnica will be the first female referee to lead a Croatian First League match. 

The Croatian Football Federation has confirmed that Martinčić will be the head referee this Friday (September 10) in the first match between Gorica and Hrvatski Dragovoljac in the 8th round of the Croatian First League (HNL), reports Jutarnji List.

This will make Croatia the fifth country in Europe where a woman will be the main referee in the football competition's elite class. Women served as main referees at elite matches in France, Wales, the Czech Republic, and Ukraine before Croatia.

"This is a clear example of the direction in which Croatian football is heading, in the spirit of unity, equality, and progress," said HNS.

Ivana Martinčić has been successfully working at the second league level since 2017. In 2018, she refereed the European Under-19 Football Championship final, and in 2015 the European Under-17 Championship final. In June last year, Martinčić was the fourth referee in the Hajduk - Varaždin match. Since 2017, she has refereed Second HNL matches. Since 2019, she has been an elite international referee and is also a candidate for the 2023 Women's World Cup, held in Australia and New Zealand. The head of Croatian football referees, Bruno Marić, has followed Ivana closely and thus decided to give her a chance on the biggest stage. 

HNS president, Marijan Kustić, is very proud to witness the historical moment of the First HNL on Friday.

"It is a great day for Ivana Martinčić, but also the entire HNS. I have often said that we want to keep up with the world on all issues, and this is just one way to show it concretely. We expand our horizons every day, we show our neighbors, but also many in Europe, that we work in all fields, and of course, Ivana deserved such an opportunity with her work. I believe that its success will encourage many, including us in the HNS, to give more attention to women's football in Croatia together," said Kustić.

The president of the HNS Referees Commission, Bruno Marić, is equally proud.

"I think this is a historic day for Croatian refs and the HNS. Opening the First HNL to female referees was part of my program when I ran for the position of President of the HNS Referees Commission. We are entering the world elite in terms of referees in men's football because only four countries - France, Ukraine, the Czech Republic, and Wales - have female referees at the most elite level of national competition. Ivana Martinčić is thus becoming a serious candidate for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, held in 2023. Ivana also completed her VAR education, and I am especially proud to say that she is probably the only one in the world to run men's referee standards at the last seminar. The region we live in does not have such a referee; we are avant-garde in that respect. I am convinced that Ivana will respond to all the challenges brought by the First HNL. My great mission is to bring Ivana to the point of refereeing men's European matches, and she can certainly do that," concluded Marić.

Other refeees for the Fist HNL 8th round matches: on Saturday, Dinamo and Šibenik play (main referee Tihomir Pejin from Donji Miholjac) and Rijeka and Slaven Belupo (Duje Strukan from Split). Dario Bel from Osijek will referee on Sunday in Pula, where Istra 1961 will meet Hajduk. In the last match of this round, the clash between Lokomotiva and Osijek, the main referee will be Mario Zebec.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 4 August 2021

New HNS President Marijan Kustić Holds Meeting with Dalić, Pletikosa, and Assistants

August 4, 2021 - The newly elected HNS president Marijan Kustić held a meeting with the head coach of the national team, Zlatko Dalić, and the new technical director to discuss the upcoming September 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign. 

A working meeting of the newly elected HNS president Marijan Kustić with the Croatia national team coach, Zlatko Dalić, technical director of the A and U-21 national team, Stipe Pletikosa, Dalić's assistants Vedran Ćorluka and Ivica Olić, and team manager Iva Olivari was held at the Croatian Football Federation, reports HNS.

After the official meeting with technical director Stipe Pletikosa, the main topics of conversation were the upcoming September activities of the A national team, which is expected to continue the qualifying cycle for the World Cup in Qatar with important matches against Russia, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

"Once again, I congratulate Stipe on his new position; he has our full support, just like the national team before the important September matches. The Croatian Football Federation will, as always, provide the national team with maximum conditions, and I am convinced that the team will also provide the maximum on the field and do everything to be even one step closer to Qatar," said the new president of HNS, Marijan Kustić.

"It is a great honor and pleasure to be part of the Croatian A national team again. I thank the leaders of HNS led by Marijan Kustić for their trust; I will try to help the team maintain high standards with my knowledge and experience. I am looking forward to new challenges, cooperation with coaches Zlatko Dalić and Igor Bišćan; I believe that together we will achieve the set goals," said Stipe Pletikosa.

The Croatia national team continues its qualifications for the 2022 World Cup by visiting Russia on September 1. Croatia will visit Slovakia three days later, and the September mini-cycle will end on September 7 in Split against Slovenia.

After three rounds, Croatia leads in Group H with six points, as does Russia. Slovakia has five, Cyprus four, Slovenia three, and Malta one point.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 29 July 2021

It's Official: Davor Šuker No Longer Croatian Football Federation President!

July 29, 2021 - After nine years, the Croatian Football Federation Assembly unanimously removed President Davor Šuker. The new Croatian Football Federation president is Marijan Kustić.

The election of a new president, who was elected publicly and unanimously, was a formality because the former first HNS operative Kustić received support from all county unions and the City of Zagreb before the election session of the HNS Assembly and was the only candidate. It became clear that Šuker had no prospects for a new term when the Zagreb Football Association prevented him from doing so.

"This is a big and emotional thing for me. Thank you for your support, I will do my best to justify the trust. For me, it is a great encouragement to be the president who for the first time received the unanimous support of all county unions. We are all football and we are moving forward," said Kustić after the election, who also introduced his closest associates.

In his farewell speech, Šuker said he must thank those who brought him and worked with him, but did not mention Mamić, Kustić or any other member of the HNS government.

"I gave my character and work 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to Croatian football. With my knowledge, I wanted to make HNS the most successful sports organization and a successful brand and I think I succeeded. I didn't do it myself and I thank everyone with I am proud of the silver medal in Russia, the greatest success in history. I am glad that as a player and president I was part of the greatest success in the history of Croatian football, and the national team under my leadership qualified for all four major competitions. The young national team achieved the greatest success, we built new pitches and improved the status of futsal and women's football. We helped Croatia after the earthquake, we overcame the pandemic. I contributed as a member of Uefa that many of our people enter the structures of the umbrella organization and I will continue to do so. I will work always in the interest of Croatian football. I have been and will remain loyal to Croatian football with all my being. See you in September in Moscow at the match against Russia," said Šuker.

The first vice president will be Ante Vučemilović Šimunović, and the other vice presidents are Mario Smodlaka, Damir Mišković, Nenad Črnko and Slavko Prišćan.

The new executive director of the football organization is Tomislav Svetina, and Stipe Pletikosa is the technical director of the A and U21 national teams.

After the session, former President Šuker invited members of the Assembly to a joint lunch, and members of the new Executive Board remained in the hall with Kustić.

Source: HRT

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Tuesday, 6 July 2021

Marjan Kustić Officially Nominated for HNS President, Šuker Out After 9 Years?

July 6, 2021 - Davor Šuker's 9-year stint as HNS president will last until July 29, with Marijan Kustić likely to take over the leading role in the Croatian Football Federation.

Namely, Marijan Kustić was nominated for the president of HNS by his county union, and judging by the photo coming from Lika-Senj County, at least 18 of the 21 county unions gave him support. Considering that the Zagreb Football Association president, Tomislav Svetina, who was the only one who could nominate Davor Šuker, is also in this picture, it is evident that this candidacy will not take place. Even if the ZNS wanted to nominate Šuker, it would not be able to because it officially needs the support of at least seven county unions, reports Sportske Novosti.

Kustić was also supported by Ante Vučemilovi-Šimunović from Osijek, as well as the dismissed chief referee Ante Kulušić on behalf of the Šibenik-Knin County. Thus, it can be said that the photo from the Lika-Senj Association reveals the future of Croatian football, with Marijan Kustić in the lead role.

The Lika-Senj County Association announcement is transmitted in its entirety:

"At yesterday's Assembly session in Gospić, in the presence of all its members, the Lika-Senj County Football Association supported the candidacy of its county president Marijan Kustić for the president of the Croatian Football Federation by acclamation.

In addition to members of the Lika-Senj County Football Association, the assembly was attended by the presidents of 17 county football associations in Croatia.

This is also the first official nomination for the top position of the Croatian Football Federation. 

After the election, Marijan Kustić thanked all members of the Assembly for their tremendous support, but also all the presidents of the county football federations who increased the presidential candidacy of the current executive director of HNS and the president of the Lika-Senj County Football Association. 

After this nomination of the parent county federation, Kustić will gather support from at least six more county football federations in the next few days to become official for his candidacy for president of the HNS.

The election assembly of the Croatian Football Federation will be held on July 29 this year in Zagreb," the statement said.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Sunday, 4 July 2021

2021 HNS Elections: Will Marijan Kustić Replace Davor Šuker?

July 4, 2021 - The 2021 HNS elections will be held on July 29 in Zagreb, where Marijan Kustić should replace Davor Šuker as the Croatian Football Federation president. 

The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) has called elections. An Assembly to elect a new president, vice presidents, and the Executive Board of the Federation will be held on July 29 at noon at the Westin Hotel. The process has begun in which interested presidential candidates must receive the official nomination of their county union and the signatures of support from six more counties. The deadline for submitting the candidacy is July 14, i.e., 15 days before the Assembly.

ZNS, which has had a president for decades, especially two longtime Vlatko Marković and Davor Šuker, will not highlight its man this time but will support Marijan Kustić. According to information from football circles, it is very likely that Kustić will be the only candidate. He is a representative of Lika-Senj County. Although, of course, someone else can always get into the race.

"The candidate we will support will certainly be the new president," Tomislav Svetina, the first man of the ZNS, told Sportske Novosti. Kustić is the current executive director of the Federation.

In the week ahead, Kustić is officially embarking on a short campaign. First of all, he must be nominated as a candidate by the Assembly of the National Assembly of Lika-Senj County, which is a formality. According to the agenda, the HNS Electoral Assembly should begin with a greeting from the previous president Davor Šuker. The question is whether he will show up.

Why did Suker fall? HNS says the trigger was an Executive Board meeting in March that he did not want to attend even though he was sitting in his office in the Federation in the next room. Moreover, he tried to undermine its maintenance was dissatisfied with some decisions. At that session, a new Commission for Judges was elected with President Bruno Marić, and some marketing decisions were made that Šuker did not like. However, the reasons for his end in the HNS are certainly much deeper.

HNS is negotiating with Stipe Pletikos as a new name in the Federation. The function of the technical director was mentioned, then the director who would take care of Croatian players around the world so that the "Sosa case" would not happen again. Some also say that it is possible for Pletikosa to be a member of the Executive Board, which will be resolved by the Assembly.

To follow the latest sports news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Croatia National Team Stadium Back on Table, HNS Hopes it Won't Take 9 Years to Build

December 9, 2020 - Building a Croatia national team stadium is back on the table. Representatives of HNS, the City of Zagreb, and the Ministry of Tourism and Sport weigh in on what's next.

Index.hr reports that on HRT's show Otvoreno on Tuesday evening, the topic was constructing a Croatia national stadium.

The guests of the show were the executive director of the Croatian Football Federation (HNS) Marijan Kustić, former footballer and president of the football union Dario Šimić, state secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Sports Tomislav Družak, director of the Institute for Physical Planning of the City of Zagreb Ivica Rovis and HRT sports commentator Stjepan Balog.

For footballers, the issue of the national stadium has become offensive

Dario Šimić was the most specific about the construction of the new stadium.

"I'm worried that we are repeating ourselves. We have to wait a long time for the paperwork; it takes two to three years before the construction itself. We can realistically expect that stadium in 2030. We are doing the show, we have done it before, but this issue of the national stadium has already become offensive for us footballers," said Šimić, after which Marijan Kustić took the floor.

Funding football infrastructure is not the job of the Federation

"I would like Dinamo representatives to be here with us. They are mostly in that part of the agreement with the City. I hope it won't take us nine years to build a stadium. People are upset that we are talking about a national stadium. We are talking about the stadium in Zagreb, and the people from Dinamo were supposed to be here. The plan should go ahead as soon as possible. I think that something bad needs to happen at Maksimir stadium to start something," Kustić explained and continued.

"In the last few years, we have invested over 70 million kuna in stadiums through the HNS Executive Board, which should be the duty of clubs and cities. That is why we are constantly initiating investment in infrastructure. This is not the Federation's job, and I do not see which federation in Croatia and Europe invests so much in sports infrastructure. Dario Simic said it well; a man shudders when he sees what kind of stadium we have in Zagreb."

If the decision is not made immediately, nothing will be initiated

Šimić replied to Kustić.

"The society and the 1,500 clubs in Croatia deserve better infrastructure. If we don't start now and make a decision right away, nothing will start. Everything else is frustrating and sad."

State Secretary Tomislav Družak also joined the discussion

"A meeting of HNS, the City of Zagreb and Dinamo was organized two months ago. The Ministry of Tourism and Sport is initiating the construction of the stadium. We will not be financiers; we can participate in projects and give ideas, which can be the way. If the City wants to build a stadium, it has to find a model in which Dinamo will participate. They need to be asked something. Croatia needs a multifunctional and self-sustaining stadium that will not take taxpayers' money," Družak said.

In the end, host Damir Smrtić asked Marijan Kustić if HNS would implement a hybrid lawn at Poljud.

"A letter was sent to Hajduk today. Next Tuesday is a meeting with Hajduk regarding the construction of a hybrid pitch," Kustić concluded.

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

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