Wednesday, 4 August 2021

New Osijek Public Transport System Worth 58 Million Kuna on Horizon

August the 4th, 2021 - Osijek and most of Eastern Croatia is continuously (and wrongly) overlooked, but despite that, it seems that a brand new Osijek public transport system worth a massive 58 million kuna is on the cards.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Darko Bicak writes, the City of Osijek could soon get one of the most modern public transport systems in all of the Republic of Croatia, which would be based on the modernisation and expansion of the tram network.

Namely, Osijek's City Passenger Transport signed a contract on Friday for the carrying out of various electrical and construction works with the companies Koncar-Inzenjering za energetiku i transport (Koncar-Engineering for energy and transport) and Colas Rail Hrvatska (Croatia).

According to the office of Osijek Mayor Ivan Radic, the works on the brand new Osijek public transport system are worth almost 58 million kuna, and they will renew the 9.5-kilometre tram network, the underground cable network, two existing stations, and they'll also build a new one.

Mayor Radic explained that these works are a precondition for the realisation of a mega project of the modernisation of public city transport worth 267 million kuna, of which 200 million kuna comes from European Union (EU) funds, and the rest is provided by the City of Osijek and the Croatian Government itself.

"The realisation of this, the largest project of the modernisation of public transport in Croatia, was agreed back in 2017 at a Government session held here in Osijek. As we know, in 2019, 12 new buses were purchased, 13 more modern buses are on their way to us, and now we're creating the preconditions to modernise our tram network as well. By the end of the year, we'll know who the contractor for the new depot will be, and after that, we're going to procure new, modern low-floor trams,'' said Radic, emphasising that the goal in the next three years is for the new Osijek public transport system to be the most modern in all of Croatia.

Minister Natasa Tramisak emphasised that 200 million kuna is coming from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme 2014-2020, through the cooperation of the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds and the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure. She added that the City of Osijek can count on European Union money in the further realisation of this praiseworthy but huge project.

"Tram traffic is recognised as one of the greener forms of transport and fits into the green policies of the European Commission (EC). Following this, we can expect the continuation of the modernisation of the existing infrastructure as well as the expansion of it, and at the same time the procurement of new vehicles,'' said Minister Tramisak.

Mario Sapina, the director of GPP Osijek, confirmed that these works on the new Osijek public transport system are an introduction to the next phase of the project of the modernisation of tram infrastructure in the City of Osijek, ie the procurement of brand new, ultra-modern low-floor trams.

Although rail and tram transport is the most environmentally and economically efficient model of transport in urban areas and beyond, the fact is that there are only two cities in Croatia where trams operate, with Zagreb and the famous blue ZET trams being the most obvious.

The introduction of trams, which is one of the few complex transport systems which can be fully produced right here in Croatia by Koncar, has been considered for decades in other Croatian cities, but for now only Zagreb and Osijek have this mode of transport.

About fifteen or so years ago, Zagreb had a large project to modernise its entire city tram system, and the same is now expected in Osijek. Traffic expert Zeljko Marusic believes that apart from these two cities in Croatia, there's unfortunately little to no space for another tram network to be introduced.

“Trams have their limits. They are, above all, applicable only in lowland areas, and not in hilly areas such as in Split and Rijeka. On the other hand, it isn't cost effective for smaller cities because there must still be some guarantee of a certain volume of passengers. Because of all this, I think that in other smaller cities, a much better quality environmental transport solution would be electric, hydrogen or diesel-electric hybrid buses,'' explained Marusic.

He added that he doesn't see any special purpose in expanding the tram network in the City of Zagreb either.

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Monday, 2 August 2021

HNL Round 3 Recap: Dinamo and Rijeka End 3:3, Hajduk Wins, Osijek and Belupo Draw

August 2, 2021 - The 3rd round of the Croatian First League was held from July 30 to August 1, 2021. Here's our HNL round 3 recap. 

Lokomotiva v. Hr. Dragovoljac (3:2)

Lokomotiva and Hr. Dragovojlac opened the 3rd round of the Croatian First League on Friday, July 20, 2021, in Zagreb. 

While Dragovoljac initially took the lead for 0:1 in the 14th minute, an own goal by Valentić equalized for Lokomotiva in the 40th for 1:1 at the half. Milicevic scored for the Lokomotiva lead in the 53rd minute for 2:1, and Kacavenda made it 3:1 in the 80th. Bagadur came back with a goal for Dragovoljac at 3:2 in the 87th minute, which was the final score of the match. 


Lokomotiva is currently in 3rd place with 7 points, while Dragovoljac is in last with 0. 

Istra 1961 v. Gorica (1:2)

Istra and Gorica met in Pula on Saturday, July 31, 2021. 

Lovric scored for the Gorica lead in the 19th minute for 0:1 at the half. After their second goal was called back thanks to VAR, Dieye scored for 0:2 in the 67th minute. Bande scored one goal for Istra in the 4th minute of added time for the final score of 1:2. 


Istra is currently in 8th place with 3 points, while Gorica is in 4th with 6. 

Hajduk v. Šibenik (1:0)

Hajduk and Šibenik met at Poljud Stadium on Sunday, August 1, 2021. 

After being knocked out of the new UEFA Europa Conference League, Hajduk redeemed themselves with their first league win thanks to an Eduok goal in the 27th minute for 1:0, which was the final score of the match. 


Hajduk is currently in 7th place with 4 points,  while Šibenik is in 9th with 0. 

Osijek v. Slaven Belupo (0:0)

Osijek and Belupo met at City Garden Stadium on Sunday, August 1, 2021. 

Neither team was able to score, and the match finished 0:0.

Osijek is currently in 2nd place with 7 points, while Belupo is in 6th with 4. 

Dinamo v. Rijeka (3:3)

Dinamo and Rijeka closed out the 3rd round at Maksimir Stadium on Sunday, August 2, 2021. 

Peric opened with an early goal for the Dinamo lead in the 9th minute, though Abass equalized for Rijeka to make it 1:1 in the 23rd minute. Majer put Dinamo back in the lead with a goal 10 minutes later for 2:1. Rijeka surprised with two goals to end the half thanks to Abass in the 38th and Drmic in the 43rd to make it 2:3 for Rijeka at the half. Orsic equalized for Dinamo in the 59th minute for the final score of 3:3. 


Dinamo is currently in 5th place with 4 points, while Rijeka is in 1st with 7. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Friday, 30 July 2021

Europa Conference League Qualifiers: Hajduk Eliminated, Rijeka and Osijek Move to 3rd Round

July 30, 2021 - The return match of the UEFA Europa Conference League qualifiers 2nd round was played on Thursday. Hajduk has thus been eliminated from the new competition, while Rijeka and Osijek move forward to the 3rd round.

Hajduk finished their European journey this season in the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League, as Kazakhstani club Tobol beat them 4:1 in extra time and thus made up for the two-goal deficit from the first game in Split. 

It was 0-0 until the 56th minute until Tobol scored three goals in 11 minutes. Dušan Jovančić scored the leading goal for the home team, and then Igor Sergejev was accurate in the 61st and 67th minute for 3:0. Emir Sahiti brought hope to Hajduk, who reduced it to 3:1 in the fourth minute of the added time and thus took the game into extra time. Ashkat Tagibergen scored in the 118th minute for the final 4:1 and advanced Tobol into the 3rd qualifying round. 

Hajduk arrived in Kostanaj with a two-goal advantage thanks to Marin Ljubičić a week ago at Poljud.

Rijeka defeated Maltese club Gzira United 1:0 (1:0) in the return match of the 2nd qualifying round of the Conference League. As a result, a total of 3:0 secured them a place in the 3rd qualifying round to meet Scottish club Hibernian.

Rijeka scored the winning goal in the 27th minute when Josip Drmić sent the ball into the net after a cross from Ivan Tomečak.

Rijeka completely controlled the game at Rujevica as they bought a two-goal advantage (2:0) from the first game in Malta a week ago.

Osijek defeated Polish club Pogon 1:0 (1:0) at City Garden in the return match of the Conference League's 2nd qualifying round, which was enough for them to qualify for the 3rd qualifying round where they will meet Bulgarian club CSKA from Sofia.

Osijek scored in the 44th minute thanks to Hungarian Laszlo Kleinheisler, who was assisted by Slovenian Damjan Bohar.

The result of the first match played in Poland was 0:0. 

Source: HRT

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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Osijek PLANtaza Association Gives Eastern Croatian City New, Positive Shine

July the 28th, 2021 - The Osijek PLANtaza Association (Udruga) has, for seven whole years now, been breathing life and positivity back into that Eastern Croatian city.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Lucija Spiljak writes, associations form an important tool in community development, but also in encouraging the empowerment of individuals through volunteer or work experience, given that in Croatia, associations are often both employers and creators of new content.

''They shouldn't be underestimated, and they should be given concrete support and encourage their development,'' stated Darija Walter, president of the Osijek PLANtaza Association, which was founded back in 2014 by a group of enthusiasts with the desire to start positive stories in their often overlooked city.

From the very beginning, they have been focused on promoting a sustainable way of life, ecology, creativity and art, as well as engaging in socially responsible business, thus reviving the small but very strong and creative Osijek scene.

The Osijek PLANtaza Association currently boasts 40 members, half of whom are active, and on the eve of their seventh birthday, they have more than 140 implemented projects and activities under their belt, they also continue to cooperate with a large number of civil society organisations, creative individuals and entrepreneurs, and strengthen their own forces with new members.

Urban interventions in Osijek

Darija says that the first projects of the Osijek PLANtaza Association were various creative and ecological workshops, the ReArt festival and the Papergirl project, which they adapted to their needs and created a new concept of event/socialising with an emphasis placed primarily on exchanging creativity in different locations.

When they founded the association, they were supported by several other existing Osijek associations - the Shine Dance Studio, the Slama Association and the Slap Creative Development Association - with which they still cooperate and continue to launch new projects, but the cooperation has expanded beyond Osijek and even beyond Croatian borders. An example of that is the Vucedol Interreg project, which they;re currently implementing with partners from Budapest and Pecs (Hungary), as well as the Museum of Vucedol Culture (Croatia).

“Cross-border cooperation on the Interreg project will only further strengthen our capacities and give us a spring in our steps for some new ideas, especially with organisations that share our views on doing responsible business and having a sustainable view of the future. Fortunately, more and more individuals are launching healthy and sustainable stories through actions via associations or independently on the development of a sustainable lifestyle that is now, more than ever, needed because of the possible challenges we as humanity are facing and will face.

We've recently been developing projects that are directly related to the development of tourism potential, especially in terms of the development of urban culture, such as the Urban Intervention project. The project includes several activities aimed at reviving forgotten and abandoned buildings.

It's aimed at questioning spatial relationships through a combination of architecture and street art and the interaction of the renovated buildings and the local community. The best example of this is the oldest tram station in Osijek, built back in 1926, which became an open-air gallery with the Urban Intervention project, within which three academic artists have presented themselves so far.

Urban interventions have triggered a continuity of creative changes in space such as outdoor galleries, mosaics, painted benches or power boxes. These may be small things, but they also require organisation and a detailed implementation plan. Educational projects such as the Green School and the MOSS project (mobile solar station) have so far been successfully implemented in 11 primary schools throughout the City of Osijek.

Our first EU Golden Year project aims to achieve cooperation with the pensioners of the City of Osijek through the implementation of 200 activities, social and intergenerational programmes, and our good cooperation with partners will only further enrich the lives of pensioners who need special support due to the situation caused by ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

We've also launched some new projects such as Take Care of the Mask, My Opportunity and Urban Osijek, which we believe will achieve its results and leave a good mark on the the City of Osijek and the wider county,'' stated Darija.

Excellent cooperation with young people

The goal of the Zbrini project is to advocate for a city without disposable plastic, the My Opportunity project should further empower young people in terms of mobility and participation in Erasmus programmes, while the Green School project will introduce students from five primary schools to young farmers and permaculture food farming.

Darija believes that the consciousness of individuals began to change for the better after the pandemic struck, but that at the same time, the consciousness of the business and public sector is waking up too. New generations understand the benefits of renewable energy much better, and the awareness of young people, as Darija says, is most evident through the implementation of the MOSS project.

“Students and young people want to be involved in project activities and so far we've enjoyed some very nice collaborations, especially in schools that conduct civic education as an elective subject. We try to offer interesting and creative solutions to the youngest in our society through educational programmes, because that's the only way we can expect better generations to come after ours,'' stated Darija, adding that the Osijek PLANtaza Association's cooperation with local authorities is decent enough, but that it could be better, especially in terms of more concrete communication.

The Osijek PLANtaza Association is currently implementing the activities of the EU Golden Year project, and will participate in the Osijek Summer Night, where they will organise a Dance for pensioners along with numerous other events. They also carry out programmes of emotional development and planting a therapeutic garden in the yard of the local retirement home, outdoor exercises, and even computer literacy workshops.

"In any case, we have a working summer and autumn ahead of us, as well as a celebration of our seventh birthday, which we hope will be possible," concluded Darija Walter.

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Monday, 26 July 2021

HNL Round 2 Recap: Osijek Better than Hajduk at Poljud, 4:0 Win for Dinamo

July 26, 2021 - The 2nd round of the Croatian First League was played from July 23 to 25, 2021. A look at our HNL round 2 recap. 

Hr. Dragovoljac v. Dinamo Zagreb (0:4)

Dragovoljac and Dinamo opened the 2nd round of the Croatian First League on Friday, July 23, 2021, in Zagreb. 

Dinamo's scoring spree started already in the 19th minute when Majer put them in the lead for 0:1. Sutalo increased Dinamo's lead to 0:2 before the half. 

Gavranović made it 0:3 early in the second half with a goal in the 48th minute, and Majer scored his second goal of the match for 0:4 five minutes later, which was the final score of the match. 


Dragovoljac is currently in the last place with 0 points, while Dinamo is in 4th with 3 points. 

Slaven Belupo v. Lokomotiva (1:2)

Belupo and Lokomotiva met in Koprivnica on Saturday, July 24, 2021. 

Cokaj scored for 0:1 Lokomotiva in the 22nd minute to put them ahead at the half. Krstanović equalized for 1:1 in the 66th thanks to a penalty, but Pivarić put Lokomotiva back in the lead in the 80th minute for the win. 


Belupo is currently in 5th place with 3 points, while Lokomotiva is in 3rd with 4. 

Gorica v. Šibenik (3:1)

Gorica and Šibenik met in Velika Gorica on Saturday, July 26, 2021. 

Babec opened the game with a goal for Gorica in the 26th minute for 1:0 at the half. Dieye increased Gorica's lead to 2:0 in the 67th minute, after which an own goal by Bilić made it 3:0 for Gorica two minutes later! Bilić redeemed himself with a goal for Šibenik in the 87th minute, and the match ended 3:1. 


Gorica is currently in 7th place with 3 points, while Šibenik is in 9th with 0. 

Rijeka v. Istra 1961 (2:0)

Rijeka and Istra met at Rujevica on Sunday, July 25, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, Rijeka's Drmić made it 1:0 in the 78th minute, before scoring again in the 82nd minute for the final score of 2:0. Pavičić missed a penalty in the 6th minute of added time. 


Rijeka is currently in 2nd place with 6 points, while Istra is in 6th with 3 points. 

Hajduk v. Osijek (1:2)

Hajduk and Osijek closed out the 2nd round at Poljud on Sunday, July 25, 2021. 

While the first half ended 0:0, Hajduk's Livaja was the first to score with a goal in the 63rd minute for 1:0 Osijek's Jurčević equalized 3 minutes later. Pilj scored for the Osijek win in the 87th minute - 1:2. 


Hajduk is currently in 8th place with 1 point, while Osijek is in 1st with 6 points. 

You can see the full HNL table HERE

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Thursday, 22 July 2021

Europa Conference League: Wins for Rijeka and Hajduk, Draw for Osijek in 2nd Qualifying Round

July 22, 2021 - The first matches of the UEFA Europa Conference League 2nd qualifying round were played on Thursday, featuring Croatian clubs Rijeka, Hajduk, and Osijek. Rijeka and Hajduk both opened the new league with a win, while Osijek drew 0:0 in Poland. 

Gzira United v. Rijeka (0:2)

Rijeka opened the 2nd qualifying round tonight for Croatian clubs against Gzira United in Malta. 

Gzira became known to the Croatian public a few years ago when they came back from a 0:2 Hajduk lead in the first match and celebrated 1:3 at Poljud in the return, sensationally knocking out the Split club in the first round of the Europa League qualifiers.

While the first half went without goals, Denis Busnja put Rijeka in the lead in the 57th minute and Prince Ampem increased it to 2:0 in the 77th minute for the Rijeka win. Lepinijca received a second yellow in the 87th minute and was sent off. 

Hajduk v. Tobol

Hajduk and Tobol met at Poljud at 9 pm in front of over 11,000 spectators as fans returned to stadiums across the country. Tobol currently leads in the Kazakh championship after 19 rounds. They recorded 12 wins, six draws, and one defeat in the league. They have won the last three games, two of which were in the Kazakh Cup.

Hajduk, however, was the much better team in the first half, and a goal by wonderkid Marin Ljubicic put them in the lead in the 21st minute! Hajduk did not slow down in the second half, and another goal by Ljubicic increased Hajduk's lead to 2:0 in the 53rd. Hajduk continued to attack and was unlucky on a few occasions not to get another goal. The match ended 2:0 for Hajduk. 

Osijek v. Pogoń Szczecin

Osijek played away in Poland against Pogoń Szczecin, also from 9 pm. Pogon finished 3rd in the Polish championship last season. Croatian championship runners-up Osijek, however, opened the new season with a 3:0 win against Sibenik, cementing their talent from the start. 

While Osijek had chances in the first half, especially Mierez, the match was 0:0 at halftime. Neither team was able to score in the second half and the match ended 0:0. 

All teams will play the return match one week from today (July 29). 

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Monday, 19 July 2021

HNL Round 1 Recap: Dinamo Opens Season with Shocking Loss, Wins for Osijek and Rijeka

July 19, 2021 - The 2021/22 Croatian First League (HNL) season opened last weekend with the first round of games played from July 16 to 18, 2021. A look at our HNL round 1 recap. 

Dinamo v. Slaven Belupo (0:2)

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo opened the new season at Maksimir Stadium on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

While the first half went without goals, the reigning Croatian champions were shocked thanks to goals by Krstanovicc and Bogojevic in the 50th and 84th minutes for 0:2. 

This victory was only Belupo's second in its 37 visits to Maksimir. The last time they won was a little less than 17 years ago. 


Dinamo is currently in 8th place with 0 points, while Belupo is in 4th with 3. 

Osijek v. Šibenik (3:0)

Osijek and Šibenik met at City Garden Stadium on Friday, July 16, 2021. 

The first half went without goals, which Mierez made up for with Osijek's first goal in the 63rd minute. Bohar scored in the 90th and 95th for 3:0 Osijek.  


Osijek is currently in first place with 3 points, while Šibenik is in 10th with 0. 

Lokomotiva v. Hajduk (2:2)

Lokomotiva and Hajduk met in Zagreb on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

Hajduk took the lead in the 30th minute thanks to Mlakar, though Soldo equalized for Lokomotiva for 1:1 3 minutes before the half. Dabro opened the second half with a goal for the 2:1 Lokomotiva lead in the 47th minute, but Mlakar equalized for 2:2 less than 10 minutes later.


Lokomotiva is currently in 6th place with 1 point, while Hajduk is in 5th place with 1 point. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (2:0)

Rijeka and Gorica met at Rujevica on Saturday, July 17, 2021. 

Muric put Rijeka in the lead in the 20th minute for 1:0 at the half. Lepinijca increased Rijeka's lead to 2:0 in the 55th minute, which was the final score of the match.


Rijeka is currently in 3rd place with 3 points, while Gorica is in 9th with 0. 

Istra 1961 v. Hr. Dragovoljac (3:1)

Istra and Dragovoljac closed out the first round on Sunday, July 18, 2021. 

Bande scored two goals for Istra in the first half for 2:0 (10', 17'). Matic made it 3:0 at the half. Veljaca scored for Dragovoljac for 3:1, which was the final score of the match. 


Istra is currently in 2nd place with 3 points, while Dragovoljac is in 7th with 0. 

You can see the full HNL table

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To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Friday, 16 July 2021

2021/22 HNL Season Begins Today, Fans Return to Stands with Covid Certificates

July 16, 2021 - The 2021/22 HNL season officially begins today, bringing football and fans back to Croatian stadiums. 

The new HNL season starts today! After the Croatia national team competed in the Euros, club football is back to kick off the 31st season of the HNL (Croatian First League), reports HRT.

Fans are returning to the stands with COVID certificates, and there are many new coaches. The title is defended by Dinamo, and the main competitors for the title will be Osijek, Hajduk, and Rijeka. Instead of Varaždin, Hrvatski Dragovoljac returned to the First League.

Dinamo and Slaven Belupo open the championship at Maksimir today from 18.55, and Osijek and Šibenik will play from 21.00.

Dinamo opened the new season with European appearances against Valur. Before the new European challenges against Cypriot club Omonia in the 2nd qualifying round, the Blues welcome Slaven Belupo in the opening match of the new HNL season. Damir Krznar is facing new challenges on the Dinamo bench after he was responsible for Dinamo's biggest European victory against Tottenham last season. Dinamo, with some new faces in the locker room, is hoping to defend the title again. Their attack was strengthened by Duje Čop, many players returned from loan, and it is questionable whether exit transfers will be made by the national team members Livaković, Petković, or Oršić.

Slaven Belupo has a new coach - Dean Klafurić, and the attack is led by the experienced Ivan Krstanović. The club has so far been strengthened by Vinko Soldo, Mario Marina, Lovro Zvonarek, Nedim Hadžić, and Mateo Monjac.

After last season's second place, Osijek went on the offensive in the summer transfer window to strengthen the team in order to compete more strongly for the title. Nenad Bjelica brought Šimo Gržan and, most importantly, locked down the top scorer of the league, Ramon Mierez, with a contract. In an exchange with Hajduk, Darko Nejašmić arrived, and Josip Vuković moved to Poljud. If Kleinheisler, Bočkaj, and Škorić remain, the Osijek club will be very uncomfortable this season.

Šibenik has a new coach Mario Rosas, and the club has been strengthened by Stefan Perić, Camilo Mesa, and three Dinamo players on loan - Julardžija, Marin, and Jurić.

The remaining matches of the first round of the new season continue on Saturday and Sunday, between Lokomotiva and Hajduk, and Rijeka and Gorica. The round will end on Sunday between Istria and Hrvatski Dragovoljac.

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Sunday, 27 June 2021

New Serbian Daily (Nova), Faced With Political Obstruction, to Be Printed in Croatia

ZAGREB, 27 June, 2021 - Serbia will get a new daily newspaper on Wednesday, 30 June, but for reasons of political obstruction it will not be printed domestically but in Croatia.

The daily, called Nova, will be written and edited by journalists from the Serbian news website, which is owned by the Luxembourg-based United Media Digital company, a member of the United Group. Since March 2019, the United Group has been majority-owned by BC Partners, one of the leading global investment companies.

The United Group also owns the regional cable television channels N1 and Nova, and has recently acquired the Belgrade-based liberal daily.

The Serbian Progressive Party of President Aleksandar Vučić and the ruling coalition see the United Group as a media corporation supporting the Serbian opposition and working against the state and national interests. The ruling coalition has dominant influence over the majority of print and electronic media, notably tabloids, as well certain news websites. The electronic media regulator is also under their influence and several non-parliamentary opposition parties are constantly under attack from pro-Vučić media.

In such circumstances, the editors and owners of Nova tried to find a publisher in Serbia, but failed. All publishing companies approached by Nova showed a complete lack of interest even though they were offered more than the market price for their services, the newspaper said in a statement.

Stojan Drčelić, the editor in chief, and Veselin Simonović, the director of the Nova website and newspaper, said that the fear of reaction from the regime outweighed the commercial interests of publishers.

The Nova newspaper will be printed in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek and distributed across Serbia.

For more about Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Wednesday, 16 June 2021

Croatian Clubs in Europa Conference League: Osijek, Rijeka, Hajduk Learn Opponents

June 16, 2021 - A look at the Croatian clubs in Europa Conference League next month. 

After Dinamo found out who they will play in the first and second qualifying rounds of the Champions League (Valur, Omonia), Croatia's remaining three best-placed representatives participated in the draw for the new UEFA competition - the Conference League, reports Jutarnji List. Croatia does not have a single representative in the Europa League this season, but that is why it has three clubs in the Conference League - Osijek, Rijeka, and Hajduk. 

Croatian runner-up Osijek will play against Polish club Pogon Szczecin, where former Hajduk goalkeeper Dante Stipic currently plays. The first match is on July 22 at the Florian Krygier Municipal Stadium, and they return seven days later in Osijek.

Hajduk will play against Kazakhstani club Tobol. The first match will be played on July 22 at Poljud, and the return match is scheduled for July 29 in Kostanaj.

In the second qualifying round of the Conference League, Rijeka will play against the winner of the match between Santa Julia from Andorra and the Maltese club Gzira, which the Croatian football public knows very well for sensationally expelling Hajduk from the Europa League two years ago. The first match is scheduled for July 22 when Rijeka will play away, and the return is scheduled for seven days later.

In case Croatian champion Dinamo suffers a defeat against Valur at the start of the Champions League qualifiers and moves to the Conference League, they would play in the 2nd qualifying round against the loser of the match between Norwegian Bodo/Glimt and the Polish club Legia.

The draw

Rijeka was in group 4 with Viktoria Plzen, CSKA Sofia, and the better between Domžale (Slovenia) - Swift Hesper (Luxembourg), Glentoran (Northern Ireland) - The New Saints (Wales).

Rijeka's possible rivals were thus the winners between Sant Julià (Andorra) - Gzira United (Malta), Honka Espoo (Finland) - NSÍ Runavík (Faroe Islands), Struga (Macedonia) / Liepāja (Latvia), Europa FC (Gibraltar) - Kauno Žalgiris (Lithuania) and Dynamo Brest (Belarus).

Osijek was in Group 7 with Austria Vienna, Ljubljana's Olimpija, Basel, and Feyenoord. Osijek could thus draw the winners of Dečić (Montenegro) - Drita (Kosovo), Racing FC Union Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg) - Breidablik (Iceland), La Fiorita San Marino) - Birkirkara (Malta), Sfintul Gheorghe (Moldova) - Partizani (Albania), and the most dangerous of all the above clubs Pogoń Szczecin (Poland).

Hajduk was in Group 9 with Vojvodina, Aberdeen, Copenhagen, and Rosenborg, and unlike Rijeka and Osijek, the Split club could already find out who they will play as four teams are known in their group. Hajduk could have thus faced the winner between FH Hafnarfjördur (Iceland) / Sligo Rovers (Ireland), or Tobol Kostanay (Kazakhstan), BK Häcken (Sweden), Torpedo-Belaz Zhodino (Belarus), Panevezys (Lithuania).

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