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Croatian FA: ‘Time to Turn Over a New Leaf’

CCFThe Croatian FA say that its time that a new leaf was turned over after events over the last 7 days saw Croatian football make the headlines around the world for the wrong reasons…

The Executive Committee of the FA held an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss what they say was a ‘blow to Croatian football’ when Hajduk Split refused to play in Saturday’s derby against Dinamo Zagreb after ‘blacklisted’ fans were turned away at the gate.

“We are not putting our heads in the sand. There were mistakes also we made, but lets sit down and see what we can do. The constant witch hunt against the Croatian FA, talk that we are a ‘swamp’, those are serious and false allegations. We are an organised federation,” Croatian FA Executive President Damir Vrbanović said at a press conference after the meeting, adding that under-fire President Davor Šuker was not addressing the media because he had been summoned by football’s governing body FIFA and was out of the country.

“This is a blow to Croatian football. The image of Croatian football has been damaged incalculably. Hajduk Split has an obligation to respect the FA’s statute, but what they done was of great danger to the club and the organisation. We want to meet with Hajduk tomorrow. We accept the fact that we did not do some things well, but we want to turn over a new leaf, this has gone too far. We want to communicate with Hajduk, but with constructive suggestions and not rebellion and ultimatums,” said Vrbanović, stressing that what Hajduk Split done on Saturday was unprecedented and unacceptable.

“Imagine if 20 Borussia Dortmund fans were refused entry to Bayern Munich’s stadium and the team just left and went back to Dortmund,” Vrbanović said, adding that Hajduk Split were too big an institution to resort to just rebelling.

Vrbanović said that it was clear that the police had acted within the laws regarding the blacklist of fans and said that the club’s decision not to play the match on Saturday was unacceptable. The club will likely face further sanctions. (pic: Drago Sopta / HNS)

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