The Croatian Football Federation (HNS) have issued a press release today after thousands of people took to the streets in the Dalmatian city of Split on Saturday to protest about how the game is run in the country…
The protest followed a turbulent couple of weeks for the HNS. On 16 November a group of Croatian fans threw flares onto the pitch during Croatia’s 1-1 EURO 2016 qualifier against Italy in Milan. The small bunch of hooligans were sending a message to the HNS, showing their dissatisfaction with how the organisation is run. Seven days later Croatia’s biggest derby was cancelled after Hajduk Split players refused to take the field after a number of ‘blacklisted’ fans were refused entry to Dinamo Zagreb’s Maksimir stadium.
“We demand the resignation of the key people in the HNS, and we appeal to the authorities to stop irregularities and injustice in Croatian football,” said a spokesman for Hajduk Split fan firm ‘Torcida’ regarding yesterday’s ‘Against the darkness, against the force’ protest.
More than 20,000 packed Split’s waterfront on Saturday, calling for the resignation of President, former international Davor Šuker, and influential board member Zdravko Mamić. On Sunday the HNS reacted.
The Croatian Football Federation accepts the fact that the supporters of Hajduk Split expressed in a specific way on Split’s waterfront their dissatisfaction with how the Croatian Football Federation functions. However, the Croatian Football Federation will never accept hate speech, intolerance and vulgar insults against the people and structure of the federation which are without foundation.
As we have in the past, we call for sanity, sobriety and fairness in the process of problem solving. The attitude of the HNS is that there is no alternative than to conduct dialogue between representatives of the HNS, Hajduk Split, Dinamo Zagreb, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Science, Education and Sport, which monitors this situation and which also supports dialogue as the only way to solve problems.
We welcome the ambition of Hajduk Split to actively participate in the workings of HNS, which is in line with the federations statute and therefore we again re-emphasize the need for open dialogue. The only legitimate place where you can create and manage the official policy of the HNS , where decisions made can make change, is through bodies of the organisation such as the General Assembly, Executive Committees, and County Federations.