Sunday, 21 March 2021

Highlights of the Week: 5 Big Events in Croatia from March 15-21, 2021

March 21, 2021 – From the Mamić brothers verdict on Monday to Dinamo's historic match with Tottenham on Thursday, here are TCN's five highlights of the week from March 15 to 21, 2021.

As we look back and review the top news in Croatia over the past week, we realize just how much can change – and even history can be made. For Dinamo's fans, this week's match with Tottenham will surely be one of the most significant games, as they secured a place in quarter-finals of the Europa League after more than half a century. But that is not the only good sports news from Croatia this week!

From Monday to Sunday, we list five events featured on the front pages of news portals in Croatia.

Highlights of the week: Mamić brothers verdict

At the beginning of the week, the news of the brothers Zdravko and Zoran Mamić verdict resonated with the public. Namely, the Croatian Supreme Court has issued a final judgment and confirmed prison sentences for the Mamić brothers, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović, and tax collector Milan Pernar.


Zdravko Mamić. Photo: Denis Kapetanovic/PIXSELL

Zoran Mamić and Milan Pernar were found guilty of reducing Mamić's tax liabilities and accepting bribes, and Zoran Mamić was also found guilty of giving bribes. Zdravko, Zoran Mamić, and Vrbanović are guilty of splitting the Dejan Lovren transfer and Zdravko Mamić for splitting the Luka Modrić transfer.

Zdravko Mamić was sentenced to six and a half years in prison. Four years and eight months in prison were given to his brother Zoran Mamić, who resigned as Dinamo coach after the verdict, just three days before a crucial match against Tottenham. Former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović was sentenced to three years in prison.


Zoran Mamić. Photo: Marko Prpic/PIXSELL

Also, Zdravko Mamić must return 52 milion kuna. According to the verdict, Dinamo was damaged by 80 million kunas in total. The state will also take their other assets, namely property, and cars.

Highlights of the week: Dinamo tops Tottenham and writes history

Regardless of the events in Dinamo earlier this week, the players showed all the quality on the field on Thursday and beat Tottenham 3: 0 (3:2) in a historic match. Thanks to the incredible game of Mislav Oršić, who was later named UEFA player of the week, Dinamo secured a place in the quarter-finals of the Europa League after more than 50 years!


Mislav Oršić. Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Dinamo thus created the first-class sensation, and this match will be remembered for a long time. A big celebration of Dinamo fans Bad Blue Boys and players followed the game in front of the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb. Deservedly!


Dinamo fans and players celebrating after the match, Mislav Oršić in the air. Photo: Goran Stanzl/PIXSELL

Highlights of the week: The UK and Croatia tourist opportunities

Andrew Dalgleish, the British Ambassador to Croatia, visited Croatia this week to discuss tourism opportunities between the two countries with Croatian Tourism Minister Nikolina Brnjac.

As she pointed out, Croatia is ready to receive tourists from the UK, one of Croatia's most important tourist markets, as soon as the UK's epidemiological rules allow for that.

"We're pleased with the fact that the destination of Croatia is still perceived in the United Kingdom as high quality, desirable, and safe. A dialogue has been opened with the British side on travel facilitation modalities between the UK and Croatia," said Brnjac.


Photo: Romulić and Stojčić

She was even cited by the Daily Telegraph. Croatia's attempts to get the best out of the upcoming summer season are recognized by many other countries interested in traveling to Croatia.

Highlights of the week: Increasing number of new infections and citizens' dissatisfaction

As the pandemic rages on, the infection numbers started to grow again in Croatia, and now statistically younger people need respirators. With the increase in the number of new coronavirus cases that we witnessed this week, citizens' dissatisfaction with the current epidemiological measures has also increased.

To express their dissatisfaction, protesters gathered in five Croatian cities and protested against the measures, but also against the mandatory wearing of face masks.


Protest against epidemiological measures in Zagreb, March 20, 2021. Photo: Zoe Sarlija/PIXSELL

Organized by the Rights and Freedoms Initiative, Croatians in Zagreb, Dubrovnik, Split, Šibenik, and Osijek thus supported the protests in about 40 countries worldwide under the slogan "World march for freedom, peace, and democracy."

Highlights of the week: Filip Zubčić wins second place in Lenzerheide

Croatia is truly a home to great athletes. As if we haven't seen big results in Croatian sport this week, Croatian skier Filip Zubčić took care of the even better end of the week, winning second place in the Lenzerheide Grand Slalom.

Zubčić had an excellent performance in the last giant slalom of the season. After ranking third place in the first run, he finally won second place, 20 hundredths of a second behind French skier Alexis Pinturault. In the overall ranking of skiers, Zubčić is fifth with 744 points.

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

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Saturday, 20 March 2021

Money, Property, Cars - State to Take Mamic Brothers Assets

March the 20th, 2021 - The Mamic brothers have finally faced justice at the hands of the Supreme Court, and now their cars, money and property are set to fall into the hands of the Croatian state.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, by the final verdict of the Supreme Court, the infamous Mamic brothers (Zdravko and Zoran) and members of their family, as well as former tax collector Milan Pernar, will be left without a part of their property/assets that will now belong to the state.

Pernar is thus left without 2.97 million kuna as the Land Registry Department of the Municipal Civil Court in Zagreb was ordered to delete Pernar's wife as the owner of a house of 104 square metres and a 239 square metre yard in Zagreb, with a total value of 1,715,000 kuna. The property is now to become the property of the state, and Pernar's wife Tajana, as the owner, must release it within fifteen days of the judgment becoming final, Slobodna Dalmacija reports.

The Pernars are also left without a thirteen-year-old VW EOS 2 TDI, which is worth a little less than 85,000 kuna, and the Ministry of the Interior (MUP) must register the ownership of the state in the register of registered vehicles. Pernar has to hand over the car within fifteen days and must also pay a little over 296 thousand kuna into the state budget, which is the difference between the confiscated assets and the illegal property gain according to the Supreme Court ruling.

When it comes to the Mamic brothers, fugitive former Dinamo boss Zdravko Mamic is being left without a good part of his real estate and his cars. As are members of his family. It has been legally established that the eldest of the Mamic brothers (Zdravko), gained a profit of 52 million kuna and 37 thousand kuna by a criminal offense, and this will now become state-owned money.

105,000 kuna is being deducted from his account in Hypo-Alpe-Adria Bank, while almost 31,000 euros is being deducted from his daughter Iva's account in the same bank, along with another 78,500 kuna from Iva's account with Erste bank. Over 6000 euros will also be taken from the Erste bank account owned by Zdravko's older daughter Lucija. All banks in which the Mamic family had accounts were ordered by the verdict to transfer the said payments to the state budget within fifteen days.

Zdravko Mamic's wife Marina will also be deprived of the money found in the search of their family house, in the amount of 21,270 euros and 17 thousand kuna. Mamic was also left without the seven million kuna he had in his deposit account at Postanska banka, which the bank transferred to the state budget account back in 2015.

The former Dinamo boss will also be left without an apartment in Preradoviceva street in the very heart of central Zagreb in the Cvjetni residential and business building. It is an apartment which boasts eight rooms and a terrace of 164 square metres with two garage spaces, with a total value of 6.97 million kuna, formally owned by Marina Mamic.

The Supreme Court ordered the land registry departments of the courts in whose territory the property is located to delete the previous owners and transfer them to the state, and Marina Mamic and Vanja Horvat must also hand over the real estate to the state within two weeks.

That isn't all that the state took away from Mamic. There is also a very pricey 12-metre-long boat, Bentley Continental 6.0 GTC cars from 2007 owned by Marina Mamic, and an Audi 2.0 TDI Sport car owned by Vanja Horvat that will also be transferred into the state's hands. The Port Authority of Sibenik and the Ministry of the Interior should transfer all this to the state, and Mamic must pay the difference between the value of what was taken from him and what he illegally earned to the state within a period of two weeks. That amounts to approximately another 25 million and 540 thousand kuna.

Zoran Mamic, on the other hand, will be left without the 2.69 million kuna that Dinamo should have paid him, which the state blocked from happening back in 2015, and that will also become state budget money. Furthermore, a little less than 48 thousand kuna that Ana Mamic, one of Zoran's ex-wives, had in an Erste bank account will be confiscated.

Due to the crimes of her former life partner, Ana will also be left without a 10-year-old Land Rover Evoque worth 210,000 kuna. Now, the former Dinamo coach has to pay the state within just fifteen days the massive 25 million and 894 thousand kuna difference between the value of the confiscated assets and his illegally obtained property benefits.

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Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Zdravko Mamić Press Conference in Mostar: "Lovren and Modrić are Accomplices!"

March 16, 2021 - A Zdravko Mamić press conference was held in Mostar on Tuesday after the Croatian Supreme Court confirmed the verdict and thus a prison sentence that will send the fugitive to jail for 6.5 years.

The country's largest judicial institution has handed down a disgraceful verdict, Zdravko Mamić said at a press conference in Mostar, a day after the Supreme Court upheld an Osijek County Court ruling that the fugitive Dinamo leader was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for extracting HRK 116 from Dinamo, reports Jutarnji List and

In his lengthy statement, Mamić accused several judges, including Supreme Court President Djuro Sessa, of corruption and bribery. He pointed out that he will serve his prison sentence exclusively in BiH, adding that he has resigned from all positions in Dinamo.

"The largest judicial institution in the country has passed a shameful verdict. People will remain registered as criminals. There have been many political trials and staged trials in history, and this is one of them. We have not been convicted of tax evasion; it is nowhere written in the verdict. There is not a single euro of money laundering, and Dinamo, which is claimed to be damaged, claims that it is not damaged," Mamić said.

"My brother and I have not been convicted of a single kuna in taxes. Through Luka Modrić and Dejan Lovren, they have received the amounts charged to me. Luka Modrić still has millions of euros in that account, which he shared with me as an investor through a private contract. I took him as a refugee. We met and signed a money-sharing agreement; he withdrew the money, gave a part to me. No player in history has ever paid a single penny of tax. The only one in history to have paid is Dinamo," he said, adding:

"If the Mamić brothers have to return the money to the state budget, then Dejan Lovren and Luka Modrić must return it. To be fair, they are accomplices; they have the money, they came to court, we signed the annexes. Either we are in action together, or no one is in action. What kind of intelligence is needed, what kind of science is needed? How is it possible that 93 prosecution witnesses who came to Osijek testified in favor of Mamić? All 93 witnesses testified in favor of the Mamić brothers," he said.

"And the court during the trial, when it saw that everything was falling into the water, filed an indictment through its daughter company against Lovren and Modrić for false testimony." 

He accused Supreme Court President Djuro Sessa of being a criminal and a fraud.

"The man is a kleptomaniac, a criminal, and a fraud, a man who decides the law in a sovereign state of the Republic of Croatia. I am ready to put myself at the disposal of the State Attorney's Office and USKOK to prove that Sessa is a criminal and that I personally brought him money. I am ready to cooperate in proving that he is a criminal and a kidnapper of citizens' money," he said.

Mamić also accused the Osijek County Court judge Zvonko Vekić, judge Darko Krušlin, and the High Misdemeanor Court judge in Zagreb Nedjeljko Boban, of bribery.

"Vekić racketeered me, asked me to appoint him president of the court in Osijek. I paid him over EUR 500,000, and I have evidence for that," Mamić said, adding: "I have all the evidence against these thieves and criminals. There are others. The president of the court, Zvonko Vrban, is the biggest criminal who will be fired at some point," he said, emphasizing that he had informed the State Attorney's Office about everything.

Mamić emphasized that he would serve his prison sentence in Bosnia and Herzegovina if that happened.

"If that happens, I will serve my prison sentence exclusively in BiH. Lawyers know that I was never formally a fugitive, nor am I a fugitive today. When the first verdict was announced, I stayed in my home country. How can I escape from my own country," he said.

Mamić pointed out that he resigned from all positions in the club.

"I resigned my membership in the Dinamo assembly and asked to be relieved of my duties as a Dinamo advisor. I am no longer a member of any body, nor am I in formal employment. My resignations are irrevocable," Mamić said.

He called on the leading people of Dinamo to "thank the Mamić brothers."

"I am asking the leading people of the club to technically invite auditors to the club and make an inventory because that would be the biggest thank you to the Mamić brothers. It is important to know when we left and what kind of club we left. This is a delusion that we are thieves and criminals. Dinamo does not owe a penny. The results are great, this is one of the best seasons in history, and our team is worth EUR 110 million. I claim that our team is worth EUR 300 million thanks to the young talent. Dinamo is moving forward, and the club will continue where I left off," he said, adding that he fears a“ black scenario.”

"It is possible that Dinamo will not exist in three months. Dinamo is financed based on bank loans and repays them with realized transfers or future income from transfers or appearances in Europe. Suppose Dinamo were left without a title and income from the Champions League. When salaries were not paid for three months, the club would go bankrupt. It would finish in the lowest tier of the competition. We leave the club in 35th place in the UEFA rankings, and the danger is that it will disappear after a few months. I will do my best not to let that happen, even though I am not part of Dinamo. If that happens, those who caused it will be held accountable," Mamić said.

"Dinamo pays more into the budget in one year than all of Croatian sport in five years. We, who have brought historic successes and a billion euros, are exiled and doomed," he said.

He also spoke about the problem with the stadium.

"Give us back the land, and you will stop these lies and deceptions about how Dinamo is financed with taxpayers' money. It is a lie. The city takes care of the property, and that is the stadium. Give us back the land, and the citizens of Zagreb will never invest in the club again. Dinamo will build the stadium itself. Give us a concession, give us the right to build. Dinamo would build a stadium within three years, but they don't want to."


In addition to Zdravko Mamić, whose sentence was upheld, the Supreme Court reduced his brother Zoran Mamić's prison sentence from four years and 11 months to four years and eight months, and former tax collector Milan Pernar from four years and two months to three years and two months. Also, the Supreme Court overturned the verdict regarding the accusation that Zoran Mamić incited Pernar to abuse, and a retrial was ordered, the highest court announced.

Former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović was confirmed with a first-instance verdict, sentencing him to three years in prison, the Supreme Court added in a statement citing only the initials of the accused.

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

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Zoran Mamić Resigns as Dinamo Coach after Supreme Court Verdict

March 16, 2021 - The latest football news in Croatia as Zoran Mamić resigns as Dinamo coach after the verdict was confirmed in the 'Mamić trial' on Monday.

On Monday, the Supreme Court confirmed the verdict against Zdravko and Zoran Mamić and former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanović.

Zdravko Mamić has now been sentenced to six and a half years in prison, and his brother Zoran Mamić, Dinamo's coach until last night, was sentenced to four years eight months in prison by the decision of the Supreme Court. Damir Vrbanović was sentenced to three years in prison.

After the verdict was announced, the question arose of whether Zoran Mamić could remain the coach of Dinamo. According to the letter of the law, he must leave the bench of the Croatian champion immediately. 

A few hours after the verdict was announced, the Dinamo coach also spoke.

"Although I do not feel guilty, as I announced earlier, if the verdict is final, I accept it as such and resign from the position of the GNK Dinamo head coach and sports director. I wish the club a lot of luck and sporting success in its future work," Mamić said.

At Monday's session of the GNK Dinamo Management Board, the current head coach and sports director's resignation was accepted. Damir Krznar was appointed to the head coach of Dinamo's first team, and will also serve as the club's sports director.

If Mamić had not resigned himself, Dinamo would have had to terminate his contract under the Sports Act, which states that no person who has been sentenced to more than six months can lead or organize sports competitions or perform professional sports activities.

Dinamo will play the return match of the Europa League round of 16 against Tottenham Hotspur in three days. In the Croatian championship, they hold first place with two points more and a game less than Osijek in second. 

Zoran Mamić sat on the Dinamo bench on two occasions, winning four championship titles and two Cups.


You can read more about the Supreme Court verdict HERE

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

Monday, 15 March 2021

Croatian Supreme Court Confirms Prison Sentences for the Mamić Brothers, Vrbanović

March 15, 2021 - The Croatian Supreme Court has issued a final verdict, confirming prison sentences for the Mamić brothers, Damir Vrbanović, and tax collector Milan Pernar.

Namely, Zdravko Mamić was sentenced to six years and six months in prison. Zoran Mamić, who is preparing for the match against Tottenham on Thursday as the Dinamo coach, has had his sentence reduced by three months and will serve four years and eight months in prison.

Damir Vrbanović was given three years, and Pernar three years and two months, reduced from four years and two months. The verdict was overturned in only one part, which refers to the point where Zoran Mamić was charged with inciting the abuse of former tax collector Milan Pernar, for which a retrial was ordered.

Almost three years since the invalid verdict, it has now been passed and become final, which means that Zoran Mamić and Vrbanović should go to prison at some point soon. The situation is significantly more complicated with Zdravko Mamić, who fled to BiH in June 2018, because the country will not extradite him to Croatia. As an explanation, they stated that the criminal offense for which he was convicted in Croatia was not defined as a criminal offense in BiH.

In addition to being sentenced to 6 and a half years in prison, Zdravko Mamić must return HRK 52 million.

Zdravko Mamić was convicted on all counts of the indictment, and after the intervention of the Supreme Court, he was convicted on all counts except one.

Zoran Mamić and Milan Pernar were found guilty of reducing Mamić's tax liabilities and accepting bribes, and Zoran Mamić was also found guilty of giving bribes. Zdravko, Zoran Mamić, and Vrbanović are guilty of splitting the Dejan Lovren transfer and Zdravko Mamić for splitting the Luka Modrić transfer. 

You can read the verdict in detail on the official website of the Supreme Court. According to the verdict, Dinamo was damaged by HRK 80 million.

Part of the court statement transmitted below:

"The second defendant, the executive vice-president and board member of the football club, and the fourth defendant, the general manager, and a board member, in agreement with the third defendant, falsely claimed that one player was entitled to half of the club's transfer fee. The player forwarded the money to the third defendant, who repaid the loans given to him by the club.

They thus damaged the football club by HRK 35,840,396.14 and obtained a profit of HRK 25,894,262.83 for the third defendant.

The fourth event concerns the conviction of another defendant, the executive vice-president and a member of the football club's board, for negligence over the club's property interests. He knew when one player left the club in 2008 that there was no contract under which half of the transfer amount should go to the player and half to the club. He subsequently untruthfully made an annex on the division of the transfer amount between the club and the player into equal parts, which he antedated. He thus created an apparent basis for the division of money. The money was paid from the club's account to the player's account, who then handed the money over to the other defendant and according to his instructions to members of his family. Thus, the second defendant obtained HRK 52,037,4335.73 for himself and damaged the football club by HRK 80,030,927.25."


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

Tuesday, 7 July 2020

Zoran Mamic to Lead Dinamo Until End of Season, First Match Against Hajduk

July 7, 2020 - After Jovicevic was sacked on Monday, the Zagreb club announced that Zoran Mamic would lead Dinamo Zagreb until the end of the season. Mamic is the club's sports director, the brother of the infamous Zdravko Mamic, and former Dinamo captain and coach. Two years ago, he was sentenced to four years and 11 months in prison for damaging the club.

"Civic football club Dinamo informs the public that in the remaining three HNL games until the end of the 2019/20 competition season, the first Dinamo team will be led by the club's sports director, Mr. Zoran Mamić," Dinamo announced, as reported.

The middle Mamic brother, because, in addition to him and the older Zdravko, Zdravko's son Mario or Mamić Jr. also benefited from the family club, commented on the fact that he is taking over Dinamo for the second time as a coach, which he already led from 2013 to 2016.

"The situation is such that we must not rush into a decision and allow ourselves to take the wrong step. European competitions are very close, and we know how much it means to Dinamo and Croatian football to play in European groups. With these three games until the end of the season, we will have time to decide who will lead Dinamo next season."

Zoran Mamic is the current sports director and brother of fugitive Zdravko Mamic. Both brothers are under a non-final verdict for heavily robbing the club they lead. Dinamo boss Zdravko Mamic, his brother Zoran, former Dinamo director Damir Vrbanovic and tax collector Milan Pernar were found guilty in 2018 by a non-judicial verdict of the Osijek County Court by USKOK's accusations of extracting around 116 million kuna from the club and causing damage to the state budget of 12.2 million kuna. They were sentenced to prison terms, with Zdravko Mamic receiving six and a half years, and his brother Zoran four years and 11 months in prison.

Zoran Mamic coached in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates from 2016 to 2019, and he officially returned to Dinamo as the director last summer.

He will now debut on the bench against Hajduk on Sunday. In the role of his assistant, Damir Krznar is mentioned, a soldier of the club who, along with the middle Mamic brother, gathered experience in the Middle East. They returned to Dinamo together last summer. Krznar led the youth forces and briefly helped Jovicevic in the coaching staff of the first team.

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


Tuesday, 26 February 2019

"Croatian Football Coaches Belong to Upper Echelon in Europe"

Despite Slaven Bilić's sacking from Al Ittihad this week, Croatian football coaches do not rank poorly in the wonderful world of the sport. 

Friday, 11 May 2018

Zoran Mamić Named Best Coach in UAE, Second Croat to Win After Dalić

Croatian coaches seem to be popular in the United Arab Emirates. 

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

After Modrić Indictment, DORH Opens Investigation Against Dejan Lovren for False Testimony

More hot water for another one of Croatia's national team players as DORH launches an investigation into Dejan Lovren's false testimony. 

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Analysis Of Croatian Football League - Part One: Dinamo

In the series of articles, TCN is reviewing the Croatian football clubs' success in the season. Today we bring you the analysis of the champion’s season.

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