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.

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

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 nova.rs, 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).

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Thursday, 10 June 2021

DOBRO World Cup in Osijek: 140 Gymnasts from 31 Countries Compete for Medals

June 10, 2021 - The gymnastics spectacle in Osijek can begin! Everything is ready for the 12th edition of the DOBRO World Cup in gymnastics, which will host 140 athletes from 31 countries from Wednesday to Sunday (June 10-13) in the Gradski vrt hall.

"We have some more small details to finish, but in general everything is ready, most teams came, stayed in hotels, accredited, passed all the COVID procedures that we received from the World Gymnastics Federation and all those epidemiological measures that are currently in force in the Republic of Croatia. The hall and the whole production are 99% ready. We are all looking forward to the start of the competition. The figure of 31 countries is one of the best in terms of attendance at gymnastics competitions in the world this year. 140 competitors are coming. We also have a lot of those who are interested in the highest medals at the Olympic Games because Osijek is the last international stage in the preparations for the Olympics in Tokyo, so the competition will be very interesting for Tin, Aurel, Jakov, Filip Ude, our girls ... very interesting to follow the outcome of this competition. However, we as the Croatia national team also expect a lot from the DOBRO World Cup. It is no secret that we are expecting podiums, and all our national team members will want to show themselves in the best world at home," announced the director of the competition and vice-president of the Croatian Gymnastics Association, Vladimir Mađarević.

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Slobodan Kadic

Let us remind you that Croatia has won as many as 30 medals in Osijek since 2009.

At this year's tournament, the Croatia national team will consist of Tin Srbić (horizontal bar), Aurel Benović (floor and vault), Filip Ude (pommel horse), Jakov Vlahek (pommel horse), Filip Boroša (floor), Ana Đerek (floor and beam), Tijana Korent (vault), Christina Zwicker (beam and uneven bars) and Sara Šulekić (uneven bars).

All of them attended the last press conference today before the start of tomorrow's competition. On Thursday at 3 pm, Benović and Boroša on the floor, Ude and Vlahek on the pommel horse, Korent on a vault, and Zwicker and Šulekić on uneven bars will be in the qualifications. On Friday, Srbić will be on the hunt for the finals, Benović on the vault, Zwicker on the beam, and Đerek on the beam and the floor.

Tin Srbić (gold in Osijek 2017 and 2018, bronze 2016):
"I am ready for my last check before going to the Olympics in Tokyo. I'm in great shape, we're training great. If I have to go to the Olympics tomorrow, I'm ready! Osijek will be a simulation of Tokyo for me, an exercise that I will do here, 6.2, I will also do in Tokyo. I hope to qualify for the finals so that I can try out the 6.5 exercise we are training to be ready for the Tokyo finals, which I hope. I didn’t watch the competition here. There are no strongest who will be in Tokyo. There is last year's European champion Tvorogal, but I do not see this "defeat" in Mersin as something big since I did not consider the EP very important given the whole epidemiological situation, the number of countries that came, and the trial there. I don't bother with that. I know I'm better than him. I’m not saying he’ll never beat me because I can screw up too, but if we both do the exercises, I’ll always be better than him. He’s definitely a big competitor, he does great exercises, but I repeat, if we both do ours, I’m realistically better. I have had back problems for a long time, it has been worse in recent weeks, but it is getting better. Yesterday I did exercise 6.2. I didn't think it would go this much better, but it is going."

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Slobodan Kadic

Aurel Benović:
"I am not under pressure to perform in my city. I’m sorry there shouldn’t be an audience in the hall this year, but I hope that as early as next year, the fans will refill the City Garden. I expect a good performance, I am sure that none of us members of the Croatia national team will let down all those who will watch us on small screens thanks to the broadcast of HRT. I am happy that I won gold at the World Cup in Varna ten days ago with my strongest exercise. I hope that I will be able to do the same in Osijek. I didn’t study the competition, I just heard it was going to be strong, like every year. I was happy when I heard that Artem Dolgopjat had come, I look forward to meeting him again. He beat me at the EP last year, I beat him now in Varna. We will see how it will be in Osijek. The legendary Marian Dragulescu is also here, I am honored to perform with him. He is a gymnastic icon. Still, at 41, he shows that he can still perform challenging acrobatics and difficult elements on the jump. I will also perform on the vault and I will be honored to stand next to him."

Filip Ude (gold in Osijek 2014, bronze 2010 and 2013):
"I am and I am not ready. I’m not in the shape I wanted to be in, due to a shoulder injury, but in the last 2 weeks, I’ve done my best to make it OK. We are already used to Osijek being our competition, that our people can see us there and I am glad that it is so. I hope that one day a world or European championship will come to Croatia. I have not studied competition in Osijek, I never do that, I do not fight with anyone, it is not martial arts or some contact team sport. This is more of a mental sport. If you don't beat yourself, unfortunately, you won't beat anyone."

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Slobodan Kadic

Ana Đerek (gold in Osijek 2019):
"For me, this is the last competition before going to the Olympics in Tokyo, which is only a few weeks away, so I am in good shape. I’ve been doing my best in training lately, because Tokyo is close, but also because this World Cup means the most to me. I trained well, and I hope that the results will follow. About 10 days ago we were at the World Cup in Varna, I competed for 4 days, I won 2 finals, I know physically that I am in shape, but you know how it is in sports, it takes a little luck to get to the finals, and then whatever. I had a small accident before coming here, from one state to another, I traveled from Split to Osijek for 2 days. Namely, before Zagreb, the tire on our car burst, we crossed a metal part that was on the road and cut our tire. Fortunately, neither I nor coach Miroslav Končarević had any other issues. But while the towing service came to pick us up, while they took us to the service station, so they didn't have tires ... My coach is still in Zagreb waiting for the tires, and I came to Osijek with the Zagreb team. But nothing rattled me before the performance. It wasn't that scary. I’m more sorry we’re going to perform without spectators this year. The audience is the No. 1 favorite thing of this World Cup. They are something special. But everything is going in the direction that we will soon return to normal life."

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Slobodan Kadic

Tijana Korent (silver in Osijek 2009, bronze 2010):
"Given that in Varna 10 days ago the final escaped me by 0.001 points, which is partly discouraging, I hope that I will make up for that crumb in this competition and that I will fight in the final on Saturday. I have silver and bronze from Osijek, I would not complain about completing medals ... But, considering the competition here, it will be difficult. Although, when you’re in the finals there’s always that factor that we all often forget, and that’s luck. It's not all about training. We can be in great shape, but if just a little bit of luck is missing, it doesn't have to turn out well."

Christina Zwicker:
"I'm ready. I don't have too many goals in terms of results, just to do both exercises the way I know how to train. The competition here, thank God, is very strong. However, the Games are at the door and everyone came here, and there is always a perfect organization, hall, everything, so it is clear to me why all the best always come to Osijek. It's simple, everyone here feels perfect."

Sara Šulekić:
"I don't have any additional anxiety. Although I am still a junior by age, this will be my third competition in a row among the "big girls" and I am slowly adjusting. I hope that I will be able to perform my exercise the way we do in training, and that is the only thing that matters to me here for the first time."

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Slobodan Kadic

Jakov Vlahek:
“Just three days ago, I landed from Egypt where I won silver at the World Cup in Cairo, but honestly, I’m not tired. I have been waiting for five years to get the opportunity to perform in Osijek and I am really happy to be here. I hope that I will be able to repeat the good performances from Cairo."

Filip Boroša:
"First of all, it is a great honor for me to be part of the Croatia national team in Osijek and to have the opportunity to perform here for the first time. I am sure that each of us on the team will do our best not to disappoint and to justify our colors."

The ceremonial opening of the competition is on the program on Saturday at 12.45, and both final days, will be live broadcasts from Osijek on HRT 2.

Follow the Livescore results at the link https://osijekgym.com/rezultati/

All information about the DOBRO World Cup can be found at the link http://osijekgym.com/

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

 

Wednesday, 9 June 2021

Arrested Osijek Judges Sent to Zagreb For USKOK Questioning

ZAGREB, 9 June, 2021 - The three judges of Osijek County Court who were arrested on suspicion of graft on Wednesday morning have been transferred to Zagreb for questioning by the Office for Suppression of Corruption and Organised Crime (USKOK).

According to unofficial information, the judges Darko Krušlin and Ante Kvesić were already brought to the USKOK headquarters, after which judge Zvonko Vekić and businessman Drago Tadić were expected too.

USKOK said the arrests were the result of an investigation conducted in cooperation with the police anti-corruption office (PNUSKOK) and tax authorities. The investigation was prompted by accusations made by former Dinamo football club boss Zdravko Mamić who claimed he had bribed the judges concerned to clear him of the charges of embezzlement of money from that sport club.

The State Judicial Council (DSV) previously launched disciplinary proceedings against Krušlin and Vekić, following a request to that effect by the Osijek County Court, for socialising with Mamić. Mamić fled to Bosnia and Herzegovina a few years ago before the announcement of a trial court ruling in a case in which he was charged with siphoning HRK 116 million from Dinamo.

The judges were suspended in late March pending the completion of disciplinary proceedings, and the DSV at the time also rejected a motion by Mamić's defence to be party to the proceedings.

The arrest of three judges a blow to the court

Osijek County Court president Zvonko Vrban told Hina today that the apprehension of the three judges was "a blow to the County Court in Osijek in terms of its functioning."

The court is going to make technical rearrangements, however, "the reputation of those who work in the court can now be questioned by clients".

Vrban declined to comment on the speculation that Mamić bribed the judges in cash, by paying for their travel arrangements and buying them shoes and clothes to make sure they would acquit him.

Last October, Mamić sent USKOK corruption investigators a USB stick with evidence incriminating the judges. On 16 March this year, after the Supreme Court upheld the trial court sentence against him of six and a half years in prison, Mamić held a press conference in the southern Bosnia and Herzegovina city of Mostar, accusing Supreme Court President Đuro Sessa and judges Vekić and Krušlin of corruption and bribe taking, and calling Osijek County Court president Vrban "a criminal who will be dismissed sooner or later."

Mamić claimed that he had paid Vekić over €500,000, which he was to split with Krušlin and Kvesić.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Monday, 7 June 2021

New Air Pannonia Aircraft from Osijek Solemnly Welcomed (PHOTOS)

June 7, 2021 - The new Air Pannonia aircraft was solemnly welcomed at Osijek Airport!

It arrived at Osijek's Klisa Airport from London! After two aircraft, the private company Air Pannonia strengthened its fleet with another business aircraft Cessna Citation 525A-CJ2, registration number 9A-JET, making them the only company in Croatia that owns three JETs that are primarily used to transport VIP passengers and medical organ transport.

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Slobodan Kadic

"It is an aircraft that is one of the most comfortable in its class, and it arrived from the United Kingdom. Since the demand for flights with CJ2 has increased, they decided we follow the needs of the market and increase capacities," points out Zrinka Vlašić Kujundžija from Air Pannonia's marketing team.

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Slobodan Kadic

In addition to the three aircraft, they are proud of the arrangement and expansion of the service capacity and hangar at Klisa Airport, where they organized the ceremonial arrival of the new aircraft, which was greeted by a jet of water cannons by firefighters.

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Slobodan Kadic

Air Pannonia is a sister company of Air Tractor, which has a 28-year tradition in aviation. The company is family-owned, and they are the only company in Croatia that deals with all aviation segments (pilot training, service, pilot English language testing, medical organ transport, and, of course, VIP transport). Pilots from Croatia and the world are trained there, and they also own two Cessnas and the Antonov aircraft, which is known to all Osijek residents because it sprays mosquitoes.

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Slobodan Kadic

"Air Pannonia is now already a recognizable brand in the European and wider market, and so on not surprisingly, there is a need for further expansion and investment in fleet expansion. Our permanent clients are people from the business world, the world of sports, as well as show business who have a permanent need for our services and transportation of business users," concluded Vlašić Kujundžija, emphasizing that their planes fly all over the world, from Brussels to Mykonos, Prague, London or Istanbul.

From Zagreb to Osijek in 22 minutes!

The newly arrived aircraft flew for the British Zenith Aviation. The flight to Zagreb lasted 1 hour and 52 minutes, which is a great time because they had many backwinds, and the flight from Zagreb to Osijek lasted 22 minutes. It is from 2004 and has a capacity of seven passengers and one of their existing aircraft. It has 4200 hours of flight time which is very little in aviation jargon and can be said to be like new.

"We think it will serve us for about ten years, and its average speed is 400 knots. We are starting the registration process in Croatia, and I hope that within 40 days, they will be able to be seen in the European sky," said Krešimir Vlašić, director of flight operations, co-owner of the company, and captain.

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Slobodan Kadic

"They are currently the only form of business traffic as most commercial lines have been discontinued, giving them a huge advantage. Business people who used to fly business class expect that they will now fly a private plane for that money, which is not realistic. Their traffic has increased, they do not suffer losses, but the price of labor has fallen, i.e., the price of an hour of an airplane has fallen compared to the previous two years. We can be satisfied because we ended last year with 1500 hours of flight, which is quite good, and we expect even more this year," concluded Vlašić.

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Sunday, 30 May 2021

Osijek's Air Pannonia Becomes First in Croatia to Own Three Jets!

May 30, 2021 - Air Pannonia, an Osijek-based aircraft operator focused on business transport, strengthened its fleet with another business aircraft or the new Cessna - business aircraft with seven seats.

After two aircraft (CJ with registration marks 9A-JIM, and CJ2 with registration marks 9A-JIP), Air Pannonia thus becomes the only company in Croatia that owns three JETs, reports HRTurizam.

The Cessna is an aircraft that is one of the most comfortable in this class, and it arrived from the United Kingdom. Air Pannonia is now a recognizable brand in the European and wider market, so it is not surprising that there is a need for additional expansion and investment in fleet expansion.

“Given that the demand for CJ2 flights has increased, we have decided to follow the needs of the market and increase our capacity. Our regular customers are people from the business world, the world of sports, and show business who have a constant need for our services. In addition to our now three aircraft, we are proud of the new arrangement and expansion of service capacity and hangar at Klisa Airport, where we just organized the solemn arrival of our new aircraft," said Zrinka Kujundzija of Air Pannonia.

Air Pannonia is a sister company of Air Tractor, which has a 28-year aviation tradition. The company is family-owned, and they are the only company in Croatia that deals with all segments of aviation (pilot training, service, English language testing of pilots, medical organ transport, and of course, VIP transport for business users). Also, Air Pannonia is one of the initiators and founders of the Pannonian Health Health Tourism Cluster in Osijek.

Well done to Air Pannonia!

Follow the latest on flights to Croatia HERE and the latest travel updates and COVID-19 news from Croatia HERE.

For more on travel in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 29 May 2021

President Returns War Decorations to General Branimir Glavaš

ZAGREB, 29 May 2021 - Croatian President Zoran Milanović has invalidated former President Ivo Josipović's decision on stripping wartime Osijek official, general Branimir Glavaš, of war medals, since Glavaš's convictions were quashed and the retrials were ordered.

Glavaš's son, lawyer Filip Glavaš, told Hina on Saturday, that the return of the seven war medals to his father were the only logical and fair decision as his father had no longer the status of a convict.

Milanović's decision on declaring null and void Josipović's decision was published in the Official Gazette after it had been adopted on 21 May on the advice of the state commission for decorations and awards and in line with the Constitution and the relevant legislation.

The commission took into consideration the changes in the trials in the cases dubbed 'Garage' and 'Duct tape' for the war crimes against local Serbs in the eastern Croatian city of Osijek in the early 1990s.

Lawyer Filip Glavaš said today that the reasons such as the final convictions for stripping his father of war decorations had not existed for some time and that in 2019, they had asked the then president Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to return the decoration to his father.

However, she ignored our request, the lawyer Filip Glavaš told Hina.

 A month ago we sent the request to this effect to  President Zoran Milanović, and he granted our request, which is the only fair and logical decision considering the fact that the Constitutional and Supreme Courts quashed the convictions, he said.

The Supreme Court quashed the trial court verdict on 28 July 2016 and requested the Zagreb County Court to hold a new trial in this case.

In the initial trial which lasted from October 2007 to April 2009, Glavaš and the other accused were sentenced to lengthy prison terms but the final verdict was quashed by the Supreme Court. By that time Glavas had served most of his eight-year term in prisons in Bosnia and Herzegovina where he fled before the announcement of the trial court verdict.

In late November 2019, Glavaš, who was still standing trial for war crimes, supported in Osijek with his signature Milanović's presidential candidacy, saying that his signature "is not a signature for the SDP or for drawing closer to the SDP but for Milanović as a candidate for the president of the republic", while members of his HDSSB party would decide for themselves whose presidential bid to support.

Later that day, Milanović, who was  the Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate for the Croatian president,  said that he distanced himself from the support expressed for his presidential bid by member of parliament and HDSSB party leader Branimir Glavaš.

"I would like to distance myself from his support because Glavaš is not my kind of people. I think that (his support) is a message to (PM Andrej) Plenković. The man has been indicted for grave war crimes and the court is expected to make a ruling. The biggest problem about it is that the trial is taking too long, considering that the events in question happened in Osijek in 1991. That is something that I, as the future president, will change if I can, by statements and by exerting pressure at least. The case is still under way and that's not how the judiciary should work," Milanović said then during his presidential campaign.

Tuesday, 25 May 2021

NK Osijek Celebrates Second Place in HNL (PHOTOS)

May 25, 2021 - NK Osijek celebrates their historic second-place finish in the Croatian First League (HNL). 

Osijek won in the last round of their historic HNL season and proudly ended their Croatian championship story in 2nd place. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Osijek said goodbye to its memorable club season with a familiar result over the last ten months - a victory. Although the points were not as imperative, given that Osijek already secured the second-place spot in the league before the final match, it was the cherry on top of a brilliant season. Osijek ended the Croatian championship by defeating Istra 1961 2:1 at City Garden.

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Slobodan Kadic

"Both this game and what happened, in the end, is another picture of everything we have achieved this season. Despite all the problems we had, we did not highlight them, only the positive ones. We believed in these guys, in each one individually. Congratulations to everyone on a great season, not only to the players and coaches but to all who work in the Club, as well as those who were here before us and contributed to the formation of such a team," said coach Nenad Bjelica.

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Slobodan Kadic

"The awards we received from the Club for the historic second place, as well as this contact with the fans, further embellished the whole story. I hope that next season we will be able to make this symbiosis supreme, and I believe that such synergy will lead us to new victories."

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Slobodan Kadic

Osijek said goodbye to four of its players who will not be in their ranks next season. Just before the match with Istra 1961, Ivica Kulešević, assistant sports director of Osijek and the club manager, handed out framed jerseys and paintings that will always remind Dmytro Lopa, Gutieri Tomelin, Ivan Santini, and Adam Gyurcso of the time spent at City Garden.

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Slobodan Kadic

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

To get more news about sports in Croatia, CLICK HERE.

Saturday, 22 May 2021

HNL Final Round Recap: Hajduk Tops Lokomotiva for 4th Place Europa League Spot!

May 22, 2021 - The 36th and final round of the Croatian First League was played on Saturday. All games but Dinamo v. Sibenik started at 5 pm. A look at our HNL final round recap. 

While the final round did not determine the Croatian First League winner, it was crucial for three clubs as a Europa League spot was on the line - Hajduk, Rijeka, and Gorica were in focus. 

Hajduk v. Lokomotiva (2:0)

Hajduk and Lokomotiva met at Poljud for their final match. A win was imperative for Hajduk to secure the 4th-place spot which leads to Europa League. 

Marko Livaja scored far post in the 29th minute to settle Hajduk's nerves before the half. Hajduk's wunderkind Stipe Biuk sealed Croatia's victory in the 82nd minute for 2:0!

With this victory, Hajduk finishes in 4th place and locks in the final Europa League spot!  Lokomotiva finishes in 8th. 

Osijek v. Istra 1961 (1:1)

Osijek and Istra met at City Garden Stadium for their final match. Osijek had already secured 2nd place in the league, though the match had more importance for Istra who was closer to the bottom of the table. 

Kleinheisler scored for Osijek in the 34th minute for 1:0. Istra equalized in the 40th minute thanks to Ivancic. Istra finished in 9th. 

Rijeka v. Gorica (2:1)

Rijeka and Gorica met at Rujevica for their final match. A win would put Rijeka ahead of Gorica in 3rd, but a draw or loss would knock them down to 5th if Hajduk won.

Rijeka's Andrijasevic scored in the 10th minute for the early Rijeka lead. Gorica's Babec equalized ten minutes later for 1:1. Rijeka increased their lead in the 80th minute thanks to a Menalo goal for 2:1. With this result, Rijeka knocks Gorica out of 3rd place and secures a Europa League spot! Gorica thus finishes 5th. 

Slaven Belupo v. Varazdin (1:0)

Slaven Belupo and Varazdin met in Koprivnica for their final match. Belupo scored in the 57th minute but VAR ruled no-goal. Varazdin's goal was also called back minutes later. Zvonarek scored for Belupo in the 88th minute. With this result, Varazdin finishes 10th in the relegation spot. 

Dinamo v. Sibenik (play at 19:30) - result unimportant 

You can see the HNL table HERE

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