Tuesday, 5 April 2022

HNS Chooses New Croatia World Cup Camp in Doha

April 5, 2022 - The Croatia World Cup camp in Doha has been changed from the Dusit Hotel to the Hilton Doha Hotel. The final contract should be signed by April 30.

The Croatian Football Federation used the opportunity to change its priority option for the Croatia national team base camp during this year's World Cup in Qatar. Thus, the Vatreni will stay at the Hilton Doha during the tournament, announced HNS.

After the right to book the Hilton Doha hotel was lost by one of the national teams that failed to qualify for the final tournament, HNS reacted quickly and changed its priority from the Dusit Hotel to the Hilton Doha Hotel.

Attached to the Hilton Hotel is the Al Ersal 3 training center, identical to the Al Ersal 2 training center where the national team trained during its stay at the friendly tournament in Doha. Superior conditions in the training center compared to the Dusit Hotel's Al Gharafa center are crucial factors for changing the camp. In addition, Hilton Doha is one of only five hotels among the 40 offered in the Fifa catalog, which has its own beach and a pleasant outdoor environment. 

"Dusit is an excellent hotel that met all our conditions, but when the opportunity arose to book this camp, we reacted quickly, made an inspection visit, and quickly agreed on everything with the coach and captain who supported the change. The main advantage is a training center that is much closer to the hotel and has better conditions for players. That was our priority in the selection," said the president of HNS, Marijan Kustić.

"The Federation reacted brilliantly in less than 24 hours, as soon as the chance arose to enter the Hilton. Dusit is a great hotel, but here we have an objectively much better training center, which we met during this tournament and will provide us with perfect working conditions. In addition, players will be much more comfortable when they can drink coffee and socialize in the fresh air during the day, which is much more difficult in classic city hotels like Dusit. As FIFA has provided only five hotels for this profile, we are very pleased to have booked one. This is a great victory for the Croatian delegation, and I congratulate the management and the team from the HNS administration on the work done," said coach Zlatko Dalic.

HNS thus now has a secured priority option at the Hilton Doha / Al Ersal 3 camp, and the final contract should be signed by April 30, the deadline for all national teams to change their base camp.

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

Friday, 1 April 2022

2022 World Cup Draw: Croatia in Group F with Belgium, Morocco, and Canada

April 1, 2022 - The 2022 World Cup draw was held in Doha tonight, revealing Croatia in Group F against Belgium, Morocco, and Canada. 

The draw for the World Cup groups was held today in Doha which started at 18:00 Croatia time. 

Croatia was in the second strongest group (Pot 2) based on the FIFA ranking from March 31. The only thing known apart from the ranking was that the host Qatar was automatically placed in Group A.

The rule is that there can be no more than two European teams in one group, and as for other continents, two teams from Asia, Africa, South America, or North and Central America cannot end up in the same group.

Croatia needed at least one draw at the Doha friendly tournament to secure their spot in the second pot, which they achieved already against Slovenia. 

Due to specific circumstances, this group draw was held when not all World Cup participants are known. So far, 29 national teams have qualified and three more are awaited. The list will be completed in June, after the completion of the remaining continental and intercontinental playoffs.

Another national team will come from Europe after Scotland and Ukraine meet in Glasgow. The winner of that match will play against Wales and the winner will be placed in one of the eight groups drawn today.

Peru is also will play against the winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match. One final playoffs pair is already known: Costa Rica - New Zealand.

2022 World Cup Pots

Pot 1: Qatar, Brazil, France, Belgium, Argentina, England, Spain, Portugal

Pot 2: Mexico, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Uruguay, Switzerland, USA, Croatia

Pot 3: Senegal, Iran, Japan, Morocco, Serbia, Poland, South Korea, Tunisia

Pot 4: Cameroon, Ghana, Canada, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Wales or Scotland or Ukraine, Australia or the United Arab Emirates or Peru, Costa Rica or New Zealand

2022 World Cup draw:
Group A: Qatar, Netherlands, Senegal, Ecuador 

Group B: England, USA, Iran, Playoff winner (Wales or winner of Scotland - Ukraine)

Group C: Argentina, Mexico, Poland, Saudi Arabia

Group D: France, Denmark, Tunisia, Playoff winner (either Peru or winner of the Australia - United Arab Emirates match)

Group E: Spain, Germany, Japan, Playoff winner (Costa Rica or New Zealand)

Group F: Belgium, Croatia, Morocco, Canada 

Group G: Brazil, Switzerland, Serbia, Cameroon

Group H: Portugal, Uruguay, Korean Republic, Ghana 

Croatia opens the World Cup on November 23 against Morocco, followed by Canada on November 27, and Belgium in the last round on December 1. The exact timetables and stadiums where Croatia will play will be known later.

The World Cup in Qatar will be played from November 21 to December 18. This will be the last World Cup according to the current concept (32 national teams divided into eight groups of four). At the 2026 World Cup, which will be hosted by Canada, Mexico, and the United States, there will be 48 national teams.

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

Thursday, 31 March 2022

2022 World Cup Draw on Friday: Who Can Croatia Face in Group Stage?

March 31, 2022 - The 2022 World Cup draw will be held on Friday, April 1, at 18:00 Croatia time. A look at who the Vatreni could face in the group stage. 

The last spots at the 2022 World Cup are slowly filling up. Earlier this week, we learned about seven new national teams that will compete in Qatar. Portugal and Poland have qualified from Europe, while Senegal, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, and Cameroon have passed through the African qualifiers.

The draw for the World Cup will be held on Friday, April 1, in Doha, and Croatia will be in the second strongest group (Pot 2), which means that Croatia will avoid some powerful national teams such as Germany, the Netherlands, Mexico, Uruguay and Denmark in Qatar.

The first strong group is the world's football superpowers - Brazil, France, Argentina, Spain, Belgium, England, and Portugal. The absolute best choice for Croatia would be to draw the host Qatar.

National teams such as the African champion Senegal, Serbia, and Poland threaten the third strong group. Finally, the last fourth strong group includes Canada, Cameroon, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Ghana, and three other national teams that have yet to qualify for the World Cup.

Teams from the same confederation cannot be in the same group except those from Europe because 13 European teams are at the World Cup.

The World Cup is played from November 21 to December 18 in Qatar.

"I have no big wishes. Our goal is to pass the group. I want to avoid France, and it would be better to draw Asian teams than European ones. But I am optimistic, and I believe in us no matter which team we draw," coach Zlatko Dalić said after Croatia played two friendly games in Doha against Slovenia and Bulgaria, drawing to Slovenia 1:1 and beating Bulgaria 2:1. 

"Congratulations to the boys on the victory that ended our successful seven-day stay in Doha, even though it was difficult to win, much harder than expected. It is good that we returned to the game after 0:1; all in all, we must be satisfied. The main goal was "team-building," but also the result. Everything turned out well; we kept our place in the second strong group. We will certainly make a more detailed analysis of these two games and prepare for June," Dalić said. 

The 2022 World Cup draw will be held on Friday at 18:00 Croatia time on HRT's Second Program.

Source: HRT

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

Monday, 22 November 2021

2022 World Cup Costs: How Much Will Croatia Fans Spend in Qatar?

November 22, 2021 - Now that Croatia has qualified for Qatar and we can start making rough plans for next year, what are the 2022 World Cup costs for Croatia fans in Qatar? 

We are one year away from the 2022 World Cup. It will be opened by the host Qatar in the 1st round Group A match on November 21, 2022, starting at 1 pm local time, or 11 am Croatian time, at Al Bayt Stadium.

Four matches will be played every day in the competition's group stage at 11:00, 14:00, 17:00, and 20:00 Croatian time in the first two rounds, and at 16:00 and 20:00 in the third round when teams from the same group will play at the same time. The final is scheduled for December 18 at 16:00 at Lusail Iconic Stadium.

Croatia will play in its sixth World Cup, and since its debut in France in 1998, it missed only South Africa in 2010. Croatia became the seventh national team to qualify for the World Cup and did so earlier than ever. Qatar, Germany, Denmark, Brazil, France, Belgium, Spain, Serbia, England, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Argentina have also qualified. So far, only 13 national teams are known. The remaining national teams will be learned in January, February, March, and June.

Asia has four more rounds in their two qualifying groups. The top teams leading to a spot in Qatar are Iran, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, and Japan, while the third-placed teams (the winners play each other and the winner goes to the intercontinental playoffs) are the UAE and Australia. Another 12 national teams from the Asia zone will qualify for the World Cup.

There are 10 teams from Africa, and a draw for the play-off pairs next week in which, according to the FIFA ranking, the seeded teams will be Senegal, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and Nigeria, and unseeded Egypt, Cameroon, Ghana, Mali, and DR Congo. After that, two matches will be played in March, and the winners will go to the World Cup.

There are six rounds left in the CONCACAF zone, and all eight national teams still have mathematical chances. Canada, the US, and Mexico are in the lead for a spot in Qatar, while Panama could see an intercontinental play-off.

No one has dropped out yet in South America. Brazil and Argentina have secured the World Cup, and eight spots can still be claimed. Ecuador and Colombia are the most likely, and if Peru finished the qualifications now, they would go to the playoffs. 

Eleven national teams should participate in Oceania qualifiers next year, and the winner will also go to the playoffs. In Europe, on the other hand, there are 12 more nations fighting for Qatar, which will be divided into three tournaments. The winners of each will go to the World Cup.

Thus, there are 19 places left and 61 national teams fighting for Qatar. 2022 World Cup matches will be played at eight stadiums in five cities, Al Khor, Al Rayyan, Al Wakrahu, Doha, and Lusail. Qatar is a country with about 2.8 million inhabitants, located on 11,581 square kilometers, which is less than the area of the four Dalmatian counties combined (12,951 km2), so distance is no problem. Namely, the southernmost Al Wakrah to the northernmost Al Khor is only about 70 kilometers by road.

But coming to the Arabian Peninsula from Croatia is another story. 

Jutarnji List made an approximate estimate of how much the World Cup in Qatar would cost for Croatia fans if the World Cup were played in November and December this year, and if Croatia remained in the tournament from start to finish, like in Russia 2018.

The cheapest direct return flights from Zagreb - Doha today are around 4,600 kuna, with the possibility that you can find flights of up to 4,000 kuna for fans who have no problem changing several times and extending the trip to ten hours. The direct Zagreb - Doha flight lasts 5 hours and 15 minutes.

FIFA has not yet announced ticket prices or ticket sales. Suppose the amounts are in the range of the 2018 World Cup, the total consumption of a Croatia fan who would stop watching Croatia only in the final is 13,000 kuna. The cheapest tickets for three matches in the group stage would cost $315, for the round of 16 $115, for the quarterfinals $175, for the semifinals $285, and the final $455. In total, it is $1,345 US dollars or almost 9,000 kuna.

There is currently a lot of affordable accommodation in Qatar, though the quality is questionable. For example, you can find an apartment in Doha for 9,200 kuna for four people (two beds) via Airbnb for a month, which is 2,300 kuna per person. Admittedly, there are few of these offers, but likely none like this during the 2022 World Cup. However, it's safe the say that private one-month accommodations could be found for 5, 6, 7 thousand kuna per person.

The cheapest accommodation for an individual through Booking.com is currently 14,000 kuna/month. Jutarnji thus calculated a minimum of 15,000 kuna/month plus the daily cost of food, drinks, and transportation in Qatar, requiring at least 20,000 kuna for those who do not seek luxury but see Qatar as a great adventure.

A large pizza is around 90 kuna in well-known branded pizzerias and fast food menus around 40 kuna, calculated from Qatari riyals (1 rial is around 1.8 kuna). If the World Cup starts today, between 25,000 and 30,000 kuna would be needed for the average Croatia fan in Qatar for a month, providing Croatia goes to the final. 

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

Sunday, 14 November 2021

1:0 at Poljud: Croatia Qualifies for 2022 World Cup in Qatar!!!

November 14, 2021 - It was the match of the year and the biggest since Croatia made it to the 2018 World Cup final. With a 1:0 win against Russia at Poljud, Croatia qualifies for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!

The Croatia national team played their final 2022 World Cup qualifier against Russia at a rainy Poljud Stadium in Split on Sunday.

30,257 fans were at Poljud, with around 500 Russia fans. Croatia needed a victory to win first in the group and qualify directly for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. All Russia needed was a draw. 

Coach Zlatko Dalić decided to start Dejan Lovren and Nikola Vlašić against Russia, replacing Duje Ćaleta-Car and Lovro Majer in the lineup compared to Thursday's win against Malta. 

Lineups

CROATIA: Grbić, Lovren, Gvardiol, Juranović, Sosa, Brozović, Modrić, Pašalić, Vlašić, Perišić, Kramarić 

RUSSIA: Safonov, Karavajev, Divejev, Dzhikiya, Kudryashov, Fomin, Barinov, Golovin, Ionov, Bakaev, Smolov

Recap

A slippery pitch was in no one's favor this afternoon at Poljud but Croatia came out attacking from the start. Perisic had the first shot on goal in the 5th minute.  The first corner for Croatia came in the 6th minute after Modric's ball to Sosa was deflected. 

Modric and Perisic had a quick one-two a minute later which Perisic sent to the top of the box but the wet pitch made it difficult for Vlasic to get a shot off. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Juranovic sent a brilliant ball to Kramaric's head in the 9th minute but the ball went to the keeper. It was the best chance of the game so far. 

Perisic and Vlasic had another chance in the 14th minute, though it was called out for a goal kick. 

The rain was relentless in the first 20 minutes as Croatia tried to maintain possession and was mostly in Russia's half. Sosa shot from 30 meters out in the 21st minute which went wide of the goal. 

A brilliant Croatia attack in the 23rd minute saw Brozovic hit just wide of the post which sent the crowd into a frenzy. A Juranovic cross found Perisic's head a minute later which swept the crossbar. 

Croatia was awarded a corner in the 26th minute. Modric went short to Brozovic who nailed the goal frame, but the Russia keeper punched the ball away to keep it 0:0.

Croatia was given another corner in the 31st minute after a Modric free kick was sent out by the Russia defense. 

Another perfect ball in by Juranic found Perisic at the near post who tried knocking it into the back of the net. The ball went out for a goal kick instead. 

Russia had a dangerous free kick in the 44th minute which was saved by Grbic. Their first corner of the game came in the 45th minute. The ref added two minutes of stoppage time and the match went into halftime at 0:0. 

The second half started with a shot from Kramaric followed by a header to the keeper one minute later. 

Croatia had a corner in the 47th minute and great chances in front of the goal but the pitch was a catastrophe, making it impossible to play. 

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Slobodan Kadic

Another brilliant attack by Croatia went out for a corner in the 52nd minute. Chance after chance and we failed to find the back of the net.

Juranovic found Kramaric down the right-wing, cut inside, and shot over the goal. Vlasic was subbed off for Petkovic in the 57th minute. 

Petkovic headed at the keeper in the 60th minute. Yet another attacking play found Brozovic who shot just wide of the post. Croatia was hungry for that goal but the adverse weather conditions did not let up. 

A Modric free kick found the head of Kramaric which also went just wide of the goal.  

Gvardiol sent a great ball in from the right wing in the 72nd minute which Petkovic headed at the keeper. 

Brekalo and Livaja went in for Juranovic and Pasalic in the 75th minute, an offensive decision by Dalic with only 15 minutes to go. 

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Slobodan Kadic

But the goal finally happened with 10 minutes to go - and it was an own goal at that. Kudryashov put Croatia ahead 1:0 in the 81st minute!!!

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Slobodan Kadic

Stanisic came on for Kramaric in the 85th minute.  

The ref added 4 minutes of stoppage time to the end of the match. 

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Slobodan Kadic

With a 1:0 result, Croatia goes to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar!!!!

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

Tuesday, 20 July 2021

2022 World Cup Qualifiers: Croatia and Russia to Meet at Poljud in November

July 20, 2021 - Croatia and Russia will meet at Poljud Stadium in Split to close out the 2022 World Cup qualifiers in Group H. 

The Croatian Football Federation Executive Board has registered Poljud Stadium as the host of the Croatia and Russia match as part of the European qualifiers for the FIFA World Cup, which will be held in Qatar in 2022, reports HNS.

Croatia and Russia have played four times so far, with Croatia recording two wins and two draws. Recall, Croatia and Russia most recently met in the quarterfinals of the 2018 World Cup at Fisht Stadium in Sochi. The match finished 1:1 thanks to a goal by Kramarić before going into extra time when Vida scored for the 2:1 lead. Fernandes equalized in the final minutes, forcing to game to penalties. Rakitić scored the winning penalty, advancing Croatia to the semifinal match against England. 

Split will host two Croatia national team matches this fall - on September 7, Croatia will host Slovenia on Poljud (20:45), and the competition in Group H will end on November 14 at 15:00 against Russia. In other news, the 2018 World Cup finalists will host Slovakia on October 11 at City Garden Stadium in Osijek.

After the introductory three rounds in March, the Croatia national team leads in Group H with six points, the same number of points as Russia, while Slovakia is one point behind. Croatia is expected to play against Russia (September 1) and Slovakia (September 4) in September, and the three-match program will end in Split against Slovenia.

The 10 first-placed national teams in their groups will qualify directly for the World Cup, while the second-placed national teams will compete in the playoffs in March 2022. The 2022 World Cup will be held in an untraditional term, from 21 November – 18 December 2022. 

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

To learn more about sport in Croatia, CLICK HERE

Saturday, 22 December 2018

Zagreb Company to Place Products on British and Qatari Markets

Thanks to new product lines supported by European Union funds, the Zagreb company Green and More managed to successfully expand its exports and achieve an impressive 40 percent growth this year.

As Lucija Spiljak/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of December, 2018, Green and More, a Zagreb company which specialises in food and nutritional supplements, has introduced its brand new and expanded product line, backed by prestigious international certifications. They celebrated ten years of their eco work on the Croatian market, and they have been defined as the eco producer which is striving to reach the highest standards, according to Ivana Stavljenić, the Zagreb company's director and co-founder.

The Zagreb company is the producer of the well-known Liquid Sun ecological product, a nutrition supplement made from young green wheat, and their new line of products delivers Green and More RAW cookies, which are also prestigious certificate holders which act as additional value and high-quality tags.

"The cookies are processed by the method of processing raw food at a temperature of up to 40 degrees celsius in order to preserve the nutritive value of its raw material, the closest to what it would be in its natural state, rich in protein and enzymes, minerals and vitamins," Stavljenić explained. The new line of products is available in three flavours of balanced blends of organic fruit, nuts and spices, without sugar, gluten, additives or potentially hamrful pesticides, and they are purely organic.

These products are pistachio/lemon biscuits with refreshing citrus aromas which provide for a special gastro experience, then cookies with the taste of true blueberries and cocoa, and orange cakes as the new dimension of the Zagreb company's chocolate gastro experience. In addition to these new products, the company can boast of new exports, relocating to a new production facility, as well as making use of incentives derived from EU funds.

"When we compare this year with last year, the company has been successful, marking its tenth anniversary on the Croatian market, presenting a new line of products that are carriers of international quality certifications, EU incentives and new exports. When it comes to revenue and sales, we're satisfied with our growth of about 40 percent,'' Stavljenić noted, adding that the Zagreb company's growth is a consequence of expanding the product line, and some recently contracted exports to the German market.

The ability to wthdraw funds from EU funds is of great importance to this Zagreb company. All the money they have withdrawn has not been used for machines and the like, but for the continual improvment of product quality.

"We've got money for new production process certification and for the website, which is important to us because it has a web shop built in. In addition, we've signed up for a bid for internationalisation, which means presentations at foreign fairs in Sweden and in England. I believe that we'll get the chance because we've passed the first phase. So far, we've withdrawn 470,000 kuna from EU funds, and if our bid for internationalisation goes through, that would make it an additional 200,000 kuna because in this project, we put four fairs in the two countries,'' added Stavljenić, stressing that consumers have to be offered more than just the same old story on both Croatian and foreign markets.

"We have been certified for at least the first year, with 85 percent of the grant, which is significant. We hope that with commercialisation and a higher export frequency, which is the intention, that it will be able to continue funding itself," said the director. There are currently six people employed in the company, and due to increased needs, which are mostly seasonal, they hire more part-time workers.

"In line with the expansion of the production program in Croatia and the opening of new export markets, we will increase this figure to match an adequate workload increase," added Stavljenić.

As stated by Stavljenić during the first quarter of 2019, the Zagreb company plans to introduce a line of yet more new products, and their products are expected to emerge on yet more new export markets. In addition to the shelves across the Republic of Croatia and other specialised stores which sell healthy and homemade food, Green and More's products are available through webshops and can be purchased in Germany, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and soon in the United Kingdom and Qatar.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and Made in Croatia pages for much more on Croatian companies, products and services, as well as doing business in Croatia, and the business and investment climate.

 

Click here for the original article by Lucija Spiljak for Poslovni Dnevnik

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Former Qatari Prime Minister's Super Yacht Cruises in Dubrovnik

More luxury vessels float effortlessly in the Pearl of the Adriatic.

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