Friday, 26 June 2020

Hajduk Fans Return to Poljud Stadium after 114 Days

June 26, 2020 - Hajduk and Slaven Belupo met at Poljud Stadium for the 31st round of the Croatian First League. It was Hajduk's first game in front of home fans since the league came to a halt because of COVID-19. 

After Gorica topped Rijeka at Rujevica Stadium on Friday night, Hajduk met Slaven Belupo in front of their fans for the first time in 114 days. Recall, while other clubs were able to welcome back their fans already a few rounds ago, the Split club had to serve a punishment of a game behind closed doors. 

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With the coronavirus on the rise again in Croatia, stricter measures were enforced at the stadium. Namely, temperature checks were reinstated for journalists at the entrance, while we were asked to disinfect our hands before entering. Furthermore, we had to sit one per table instead of the usual two. The jumbo screen at the stadium also reminded fans to keep a distance of 1.5 meters. 

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Whether they feared the coronavirus would spread or were boycotting because of Hajduk's last two losses and drop to 5th place, the stadium wasn't nearly as full as expected, considering the Split club's beloved fans haven't seen them play in the flesh in almost four months. Namely, only 4,523 fans were in attendance. 

Hajduk played with a bit of a weaker squad on Friday night, missing a few starting players due to injuries and yellow cards. Slaven Belupo was also in a weaker form. A win for Hajduk was imperative.

The fans at Poljud showed enthusiasm at the beginning and Torcida's chants certainly helped Hajduk to their first goal. Caktaks scored a penalty for 1:0 in the 10th minute. 

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Slaven Belupo equalized thanks to an easy goal by Medjimorec in the 25th minute. The game ended 1:1 at the half. 

The second half started with only one Hajduk substitution, as Dolcek came on for Colina. Hajduk was quick to score their second goal, which came in the 59th minute. A header by Eduok rattled the Belupo keeper for 2:1!

Belupo was awarded a VAR penalty in the 90th minute, which was hit wide to keep the game 2:1 for Hajduk. Nine minutes of injury time were added, though neither team was able to score. Hajduk won 2:1. 

Dinamo and Osijek close out the 31st round on Saturday at Maksimir Stadium. Stay tuned for our 31st round recap on Monday. 

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

 

Thursday, 12 September 2019

On this Day in 1979, Poljud Stadium Opens in Split

September 12, 2019 - Poljud Stadium, one of Split’s most famous landmarks and the home of football club Hajduk Split, opened exactly 40 years ago today for the VIII Mediterranean Games in 1979.

24 Sata reports that Poljud Stadium was built following the project of prominent Croatian architect Boris Magas in 1979 for the needs of the VIII Mediterranean Games, after which it became the home of Hajduk Split. The stadium, known as "The Poljud Beauty”, is interesting because of its architectural composition -  its seashell-like design gives views of the nearby hills, sea, and islands, and was modeled after ancient Greek theaters.

The first football match at Poljud was played three days after the opening, but the attendance record was set in 1982 when there were between 55,000 to 60,000 people at the Split stadium. However, since there was no counter at the time, the exact number is based on speculation. The official capacity of Poljud is about 35,000 people.

Numerous sports and other events have taken place at Poljud, which are still held today. From the games of Hajduk to the Croatia national team, music festivals like Ultra, and concerts of Croatian singers, this building has seen it all.

Unfortunately, architect Boris Magas died in 2013, though some six years later, Hajduk hosted his grandson Bartol Pavusek and thanked him for his work and the efforts of his grandfather.

Although it is still one of the most beautiful stadiums in Croatia, many problems plague the 'Poljud beauty'.

At the time of its construction, Poljud’s comfort, unique roof structure and appearance was unsurpassed even in Europe, and because of this, in 2015, it was included in the list of protected cultural assets of the Republic of Croatia.  However, the passing of time and poor maintenance have left their mark.

Some say that Poljud’s roof structure is on the verge of collapsing, which resulted in various suggestions, one of them being that instead of the existing Lexan panels,  solar panels would be set up to generate electricity and collect rainwater to irrigate the pitch. The investment would pay off in 10-15 years, but, as usual, paperwork and money got in the way. 

In the last few years, Hajduk has made several interventions on rehabilitating and maintaining Poljud, with an investment of almost 40 million kuna. In 2019, a traffic light was repaired, in 2018, the damaged pitch from Ultra was changed, and two auxiliary terrains were built. A year earlier, the dressing rooms and all the facilities, such as the gym, first aid room, and fitness room were updated. Previously, the main pitch was drained and irrigated, and counters, barriers, and video surveillance were introduced. 

You can visit Poljud next to see Hajduk face Inter Zapresic and Varazdin, or wait until October for the highly anticipated Euro 2020 qualifier between the Croatia national team and Hungary. 

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

Monday, 25 March 2019

Ultra Europe Reveals Second Phase of Artists Performing in Split this Summer

March 25, 2019 - It is the news that many ‘Ultranauts’ around the world have been waiting for… Ultra Europe, the world's only destination festival, has finally revealed the second phase of performers set to take the stage in Split this summer. 

Saturday, 13 January 2018

What Do Split and Varaždin Have in Common?

If you didn't know, it has to do with football.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Torcida Remembers Kornati Tragedy on Riva Tonight at 19:11

Torcida will remember the heroism of the firefighters that lost their lives on the island of Kornati 10 years ago.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

A Message from Split Mayor to Citizens Ahead of Hajduk and Everton Tonight

The mayor has sent a message to the citizens of Split before the match between Hajduk and Everton.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Police, Pamphlets, Poljud: Day One of Everton Fans in Split

My day one observations of Everton supporters in Split.

Sunday, 13 August 2017

Hajduk v Everton at Poljud: Tickets on Sale for Everyone Tomorrow!

The general public will be able to purchase tickets for Hajduk v Everton at Poljud from tomorrow morning! 

Saturday, 12 August 2017

Heading to Liverpool? Everton v Hajduk Tickets on Sale Today at Poljud

Heading to Liverpool to see Hajduk play Everton? You can purchase tickets today! 

Friday, 4 August 2017

Everton Fans: 10 Things to Know About Hajduk and Split

The nerves have just about settled in Split after Hajduk drew Everton for the next round of Europa League on August 4, 2017. The two clubs will face each other in the playoffs of the competition which begins on August 17, 2017, in Liverpool.

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