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Croatian Soccer Tyrant Imprisons Fans

August 3, 2013

GNK Dinamo - FC Sheriff Tiraspol

 

 

I’ve been told it smells like piss and weed. And I’ve been told it’s a dump, dirty, and dark. I’ve been told there were no bathrooms, and it is full of cops and security. Luckily for me, Stadion Maksimir really lived up to the hype.

 

I made my first journey there on Tuesday to watch my beloved Dinamo Zagreb play in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. They were expected to win, and I also had my own personal tour guides, who were natives of Zagreb and fellow life-long Dinamo fans.

 

I took two more of my friends, one American, who has never been to any sort of professional soccer match, and one from Ireland, who is a fervent follower of Manchester United. I told them that it is going to be a little different than any other sporting events they have been to, but still expected to have a good time.

 

I also tried to explain the situation between Zdravko Mamić and the fans of the club, but it didn’t seem to register with them like I hoped. I guess all they needed was proof.

 

For those who are unfamiliar with Mamić, he has been called tyrant of the club. As “vice president” he is a convicted criminal, is irate, irrational, is known for his profanity-laden press conferences; he undermines coaches, pockets money from the club, and is known for using the police to keep the fans who disagree with his policies under his thumb. A true criminal with enough power and money to keep his position without any opposition.

 

Many fans no longer go to the matches to watch football, but to protest his reign. As we would learn, there are consequences for that.

 

Before the match, we bought several liters of beer and hung out in a courtyard a few blocks from the stadium where there was no shortage of other fans doing the same.

 

We then paid five kuna, which doesn’t even equal one American dollar, for our seats in the famous north stands.

 

 

mama

Zdravko Mamić

 

 

Upon arrival, we were greeted with walls of geared-up cops ready to go. I had to show I.D. in order to get to security where I received a groping that you wouldn’t even find in an airport security line. I was also sent towards several other officers who fervently searched me as well before I was sent into what looked like the entrance of a basement. It actually turned out to be the gate into the stadium.

 

We crammed ourselves in the lower section of the north stands, and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with what seemed to be every chain smoker in Zagreb.

 

Beauty that only exists in Maksimir.

 

Kickoff commenced on time. And so did the chanting. The second the ref blew the whistle, the crowd bellowed a harmonic “MAMIĆU CIGANE, ODLAZI IZ SVETINJE!” (Mamić, you gypsy. Leave the sanctity (of Dinamo) alone.)

 

Over and over, and it finished with a chorus of “Dinamo Ja Volim” (Dinamo I love). No one paid attention to the action on the field. It was more of a protest than a football match, a podium to voice their frustration.

 

After an uneventful first half ended, and I got up to use the toilets, which were exactly what you would expect.

 

I also caught my first glimpse of the fine gentleman who were there to keep the “peace” during the match. While we were all relieving ourselves, about 50 armed riot officers made their way to our section.

 

The second half begins, and so does the chanting. Police with bullhorns warned us to stop, but it only got louder.

 

The police brought face masks and shields out and physically cleared the top half of the north stands with batons, only one row behind where I was sitting, and proceeded to surround the remaining fans, not letting us leave.

 

My friend and I, front and center.  (Blue shirts, crossed arms)

My friend and I, front and center. (Blue shirts, crossed arms)

 

Chanting got louder as more and more police arrived until the one on the bullhorn told us to leave, and we were marched up the stairs to the terrace where everyone thought we were leaving.

 

We were met with even more armed cops who herded us down the corridor stairwell. Other fans were trying to escape and stampeded in the opposite direction as if they were running from something. I had no idea what was happening, and we all continued down the stairs until we were abruptly met by more police throwing people onto the ground, sitting crisscross on the floor and not allowed to get up.

 

We were forced to join, and threatened with jail time.

 

Cops dressed in gear suitable for an NFL game surrounded us, wearing ski masks over their faces. I was told by someone next to me it was so we “can’t identify them after they beat us.”

 

And that’s where we sat. Over three hours of verbal abuse, threats of violence, and mass confusion.

 

 

maximir

 

No one had answers, everyone had questions. I was just told to make sure I cover my face, lie down, and never fight back if they go after us.

 

Over 300 of Dinamo’s most passionate supporters were detained on the floor.

 

My friend tried to explain to the police that we were just tourists, and the police would respond with, “Fuck your friends.”

 

Another one told us that he speaks English, but just “didn’t want to.”

 

One by one, the police would pick someone in the group and photograph them with their I.D. then take them off somewhere. They would line them up and walk past the police where the cops would get in their face and yell obscenities, screaming, “Pussy!” in the faces of kids who couldn’t have been 15 years old.

 

The match ended after the first hour of detention. Dinamo won 1-0 with a last-minute goal. This allowed all the journalists who were busy covering the game to come down to watch the mahem.

 

It was nearing 2 am when the tension started to lessen. My friends and I were among the last 20 or so to be let out of the stadium.

 

Police were still letting us out one by one, but we had to get our pictures taken with our identifications. They told me to say “cheese” and I gave them a big smile before I was released outside to leave.  We were also slapped with a two-year ban from Maksimir Stadium, and joined 300 more, bringing the season total to 600 on Mamić’s banned list.

 

Fortunately, we were not part of the 67 other fans who were arrested and taken into custody.

 

UEFA has fined the club 25,000 Euros ($33,000) for the trouble the fans caused at the game.

 

Most, if not all, Dinamo matches are played in an empty stadium these days.  Many fans are not allowed back in, or are protesting on their own will.  It is not uncommon to see 1,000 patrons sit in a stadium that is accustomed to 35,000 cheering fans.

 

Mamic has tried to appease fans in order to bring them back to the stadium, but many have refused.  No one is willing to work with the European “soccer tyrant” and he has made a mess that he must lie in.

 

This particular Dinamo fan was disappointing with the way things happened on that warm Croatian summer night.  Even more disappointing that I’m not allowed back at Maksimir Stadium until August of 2015, but don’t tell Mamic, I already booked my flight there again for this July.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Colin O'Haravić
Posted By: Colin O'Haravić 74 comments





  1. Iggy Iggy says:

    Wow !

    Very compelling read had no idea things were so bad so thanks for that info Colin. How many people were at the game??



  2. Rob I says:

    That is a disgrace that people can be treated in that manner.

    The HNS has to sort this out or else the club will becoming meaningless.



  3. Luka says:

    What a story, it’s almost unbelievable, but then I think of all the stories I’ve heard over the years and I know it’s 100% true and that things have just reached really the bottom level in the game.



  4. Faux Cro says:

    @Colin:

    That is too bad, I was going to buy you a new Dinamo kit for Christmas.

    I hate to say it, but Rijeka & Belupo seem to have their shit together the most.



  5. Anonymous says:

    @0′hara

    Get over it you big baby. So you got your picture taken, big deal!

    It will be in your best interest to keep covering Dinamo games.
    If you know what I mean?
    We have your details now, and it would be wise to be cautious in your approach what is written and what is said about dinamo and certain individuals that are involved with dinamo.

    We will keep a keen interest in your next installment of the HNL fixture and games involving HNL clubs.



  6. Cico # 50,000 says:

    What have i been Telling U DumbAss Arrogant Mamic/dinamo Fans about your Commie Name Team ? Now U Pizdas got the News 1st hand from Dr . Colin ! SRAMOTA !!!!!!!!!! Now if 1 of U Idiots say Hajduk , Torcida , Fans , or The Beautiful City of Split suck U can go jebat yourselfs ! What the hell is going on at your crap stadium ? It sounds like the ss works there ! I mess with U guys , but come on man that is Very Very Sad for All Fans of the Game , & the City ! Someone has to Fix this ! WOW ! @ Dr.Colin hope U ,& your Friends are O.K.! Maybe Now U will come to the GOOD side -Hajduk Split ! On a Happier note , how about our Champion Galaxy Beating Juventis 3-1 !! Nice ! Naprid Bili ! The REAL Kup Je Naš ! Bog , Hrvati , USA , Champion L.A. Galaxy , (PEACE) , Hajduk , i HNS !!!



  7. TheGoldenChild says:

    Probably the best post that’s ever graced the croatiansoccerreport/croatiansports. As a Dinamo fan, it’s a shameful thing to read, but I hope this gets out to as many people as possible. It’s disgusting what is going on over there. This sounds like a prison camp instead of a soccer stadium.



  8. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @cico# 50,000
    Commie name team? You would know best since split was full of commies back in the YUGO days



  9. Luka says:

    @Colin
    Thank you for all the past reports. I will definitely miss reading about our beloved team GNK Dinamo Zagreb. It will seem weird logging in and not seeing your reports especially on the UEFA campaign.



  10. Ziva Istina says:

    Good read……some of us have been saying the same for a long time because we have experienced and witnessed al of this before.

    Glad you were able to share a first-hand account.



  11. Horvat says:

    Correct me if I understood correcty. Maksimir has no washrooms and people are pissing in the stands?

    I cannot belive that would be possible!



  12. Ty says:

    Best way to stop dealing with this Yugo scum trash called Cico 50000 is leave him alone. Don’t respond to his bs. Just let the pizda be. He does nothing except to divide and put down Hrvati.
    Bog I Hrvati. :)



  13. Cico # 50,000 says:

    @ Ty , Nn , San , Annon 1, Etc., All the Same Idiots ! I am Dividing Hrvati because i don’t like Arrogant Mamic/dinamo in HNL play ? Wtf is Wrong with U brainless dip-shits ? U think it’s ok to treat Fans like criminals for saying things in the stands at Crapsmir ,& i’am the Commie ? Sounds like your DumbAss management of your dinamo (most used commie name for a team) are the Commies , doing things like this to fans ! I am for Bog , Hrvati, USA , Champion L.A. Galaxy , Hajduk , HNS , & Good People Everywhere !!! If U agree with what your team is doing , then i feel sorry for U because U need alot of Help for your Sick Mind ! Be Good , & Have A Nice Day !!!



  14. capitals55 says:

    Its pretty disturbing that in the year 2013 something like this happens. This calls for a flying Boban kick. Uefa should go after shit like this instead of worrying about racism and flares. If this continues, I wouldnt be surprised if Dinamo ceased to exist in a few years. Im a Dinamo fan and I hope Uefa gets wind of this and bans them from all competitions.



  15. BBBulldog says:

    Great writeup! This has been normal state of afairs for Dinamo, since Yu oppression, Tudman oppression and now Mamic (probably worse). Don’t buy Dinamo kit, but BBB shirt or scarfand help those boys that are in trenches. Every time I’m in Zagreb I stop by BBB shop and stock up on scarves and donate some. Support Zajedno Za Dinamo (http://www.zajednozadinamo.com). Plenty ways to fight thief usurping the club without giving up on it. It’s not his club.

    Support from my group in Washington DC last night http://bastaic.com/ultras/DU_DC_MON_8_3_2013/DU_DC_MON_8_3_2013_d.jpg

    PS I have no idea why some of you guys write one word in English, one in croatian, pick a language for post ;)



  16. Ziva Istina says:

    @capitals55…….UEFA is aware. Dinamo goes out of their way to inform UEFA what they are doing. They will tell UEFA they are going after the hooligans and this is part of it. We all know this is BS, but that is the way Dinamo will spin this.



  17. "The Anonymous 1" says:

    @cico, I never said I agreed with the way these fans are being treated shit head! I just called you a commie! That’s all!!

    When I went to the Cro/Serb game in march they had the portable shitters and in the section I was in there was a vacant concrete room that was just nasty. The stench coming from that room was horrific, urine and shit was the only thing you smelled walking by that corridor. That stadium does not need a Reno, it needs a shit load of sticks of dynamite and a match!



  18. Mishko says:

    @Cico WTF are you talking about? Personally my family which support Dinamo are WN’s not commies you faggot. =U=

    .



  19. pasnjak za krave says:

    thank you for this report of your experience in maximir. mamic is an embaressment of what humans should be



  20. Zag says:

    Mishko you called it correctly about Cico 50000 being a faggot.
    In his sick mind he tries to equate Dinamo as a commie team. Poor guy refuses to admit the commie history of his losing team Hajduk. He must of missed his medication his morning.

    @pasnjak za krave, learn how to spell



  21. Anonymous says:

    @ O’Hara

    Remember, you sat in the North Stands, the most volatile section of the stadium. Ok, so you wanted the experience. But understand it carries risks….

    Someone right next to you can do something foolish, throw flares, chant stupid things, the list goes on. And you and your friends can be blamed for it (which is what happened).

    It’s better to sit somewhere else, so idiot cops don’t round you up like cattle.

    And you would be wise to continue your coverage of Dinamo! Also, choose your words carefully regarding Dinamo and the executives of the club.

    I look forward to reading your future coverage on the club.



  22. Hajdukovac says:

    Hajduk is definitely not communist. Please do some research before you guys start posting bs. I don’t know much about Dinamo (except that they have a shitty stadium, a money-grubbing president, and are filled will foreigners who are polluting Croatia) but Hajduk is named after Croatian fighters who protected Croatia against the Ottoman Empire. As Professor Barac said when he gave Hajduk it’s name, “it represents is best in our people: bravery, friendship, love of freedom, defiance to powers, and protection of the weak. Be worthy of that great name.”
    Furthermore, Frane Matosic, a legendary Hajduk player and their top goalscorer, with 729 goals in 739 games, twice refused Josip Broz Tito’s offer to move Hajduk to Belgrade and rename it “Partizan.” Furthermore, Hajduk was often sanctioned by the Yugoslavian government, prevented the club from even more success. Dinamo fans, just because your club imprisons it’s most loyal fans, and plays in front of an empty stadium, and has no pride or dignity whatsoever in its management, doesn’t mean you have to make up lies about Hajduk. HAJDUK ZIVI VJECNO!!!



  23. ARMADA87 says:

    @ Colin

    gotta agree with the above – one of the better pieces I’ve read on here in recent memory. I’ve always said; the HNL needs a strong Hajduk and Dinamo, who are well supported and see good attendance numebrs in order for our football to grow. Between the points you mentioned above and the current state of Hajduk, it’s a shame…



  24. Ziva Istina says:

    To be fair, there is also another side to this. There are Dinamo fans (not the BBBs) who support Mamic and think those kids got what they deserved with the police on Tuesday. They will claim they are trouble makers.

    Either way, the situation is F-d up.



  25. Marko says:

    @ Colin

    Really sad to read about what happened to you at Maksimir in your excellent posting. I’ll always be Hajduk, but like Armada87 said, we also need a strong Dinamo (and a strong Rijeka and Osijek too in my view) who treat their fans like human beings, if the HNL is going to have any kind of a future.



  26. Colin O'Haravić Colin O'Haravić says:

    Oh, the other fans in the other stands spent the majority of the time booing and whistling in out direction, and then gave a standing ovation to the police when they finally got us to leave. Whatever, heck of an experience.

    By the way, I included Dinamo in my latest HNL report. Not because of the vague “threats” from “anonymous” posters, but my father convinced me it was pointless to just ignore them and turn my back on the club. So enjoy.



  27. ELVIS says:

    @Iggy

    Not smart to have that tat on you if arrested. Rememeber that black guy in NYC that got the broom stuck up his ass. I just laugh at those conservative types that think the police can do no wrong.



  28. sdmlive74@gmail.com says:

    sounds like if mamic wants to play mafia boss he needs to get knocked off like a mafia boss too… bang bang….



  29. ARMADA87 says:

    @ Marko

    Agreed.

    In a perfect Liga 10, I’d want to see Dinamo, Hajduk, Rijeka, Osijek, Split, NK Zagreb, Istra, Zadar, Slaven Belupo and Inter Zapresic.No need for 3+ teams from either ZG or Split. Almost every zupanija/region is represented.

    Ideally, Hajduk, Dinamo hopefully making it to the group stages of CL/EL consistently and with Rijeka, Osijek consistently making noise in the EL/sometimes making groups. Teams like Zadar, Istra, Zagreb, etc. would switch back and forth with current Druga Liga teams like Pomorac, Dugopolje, Sibenik, Dragovoljac, etc.



  30. Ziva Istina says:

    Sibenik has provided players in their day, but it will be a while before see them back. They are in big trouble.



  31. Mate P says:

    wow. btw every building in Zagreb had either “mamicu cigane” or “mamicu srbine” on it. you should forward this to davor suker, because how you were treated was worst then the G20 summit in Toronto, and some of the protesters in the G20 summit were violent. they just protested. that is why when I went to the game I went to the west side because it is a nice show seeing BBB chant (which I thought they changed their side to the east side).



  32. Ziva Istina says:

    Forward this to Suker????? He is in bed with Mamic. How do you think Puppet Suker got the job? Mamic allowed him to get the job.



  33. All we can say Dinamo is not Mamic nor Mamic is Dinamo. Boycotting Dinamo wont help anyone and BBB (this generation) are bunch of hooligans and they deserve what they get. I am life long Dinamo fan, of the older generation, and even then we had issues but these new kids are just hooligans. If you wanted to go to North stands, that si what you could expect. You could have been at the east part, see the game, hear chanting and see those fools being dealt by police.
    You can say or think whatever you want and blame anyone you want, however you have to admit:
    Dinamo went further in Champions league then anyone else
    Dinamo is making money (where i goes….different story)
    Dinamo has good team and always had good players.Often sold to early..but then again..different story.

    Boycot is , without using strong words, same level of intelligence as to support group as BBB. On the other side Torcida is group that cares about Hajduk…and Hajduk has more problems then Dinamo will ever have.

    For the record, I was born in Zagreb, Raised in Zagreb, Dinamo fan forever and i was at the Zvijezda game in 90ties. Not a communist, nor usatasa,nor udba or cetnik. I served JNA i was in Croatian Army and traveled to beigrad to watch Dinamo playing Partizan and Zvijezda….i am dude who loves Dinamo.

    Guys it is soccer….no politics. Just watch the game and have fun.



  34. Faux Cro says:

    @Everybody:

    Totally hypothetical situation:

    Out of curiosity, what do you think would have happened @ Yankee stadium if 1000 fans chanted “Steinbrenner, you are filthy Jew, leave the house that Ruth built alone!” during the playoffs.

    George(BTW not Jewish) would have gone apeshit and done everything in his power to have it stopped ASAP. And yes, NYC police would be involved. I am no Dinamo fan nor fan of Mamic, but his situation is not that unique.



  35. Ziva Istina says:

    It wasn’t Tito’s team. There is a difference between being a fan of team (which Tito was) and it being Tito’s team. Just what type of support did Tito provide Hajduk? Zvezda and Partizan were the teams the govt and military backed. Nk Croatia was Tudjman’s team. Unless I am wrong, I don’t recall Tito giving Hajduk any advantages like Zvezda and Partizan got back in the day or like NK Croatia got in the 90s.

    Hajduk’s golden generation was the last 60s and 70s. Tito was already long in charge of hugo before that. Only thing Hajduk ever got from that govt was Poljud and that concrete jungle was built for the Med. games.



  36. Faux Cro says:

    No Croatian team was a Jugo team.

    If you weren’t a Serb, you had to be extra talented to get on the Jugo NT.

    My uncle was a very talented player who played/coached Rijeka for many years and he was never on the Jugo NT.



  37. Faux Cro says:

    BTW I have a Dinamo bookbag from the 80′s that has a big Red Star in their insignia.

    My uncle, who was living in Zagreb at the time gave it to me as a gift.



  38. Yay says:

    @faux cro
    Coincidence as I have a Hajduk gym bag from the 80′s as well and it has a Big Red Star also.



  39. Faux Cro says:

    yep, i bet it does. Their jerseys had them too.

    neither team was a Jugo team.

    Jugo teams were in Serbia



  40. Doktor Prle says:

    Dinamo is a communist-founded club (1945) that assumed a Croatian identity during Tito’s reign. Rooting for Dinamo during red Yugoslavia meant, very much more often than not, that you were a Croatian patriot. Simply because the team was from the Croatian capital and brandished a 1/2 (#/d) with a bloody red pentagram smack in the middle.

    To root for Dinamo today means you effectively reminisce and pine for the days when Croatia wasn’t free. That’s how it is, as far as sentimental value goes. It’s understood that many of you think the club should retain that name for sentimental value and for the fact it meant “CROATIA” during Yugo times, and that’s fine. But that means you long for days when your people weren’t free – and that you have a very peculiar case of Stockholm syndrome.

    Hajduk is a national(ist) club (HRVATSKI nogometni klub) founded in 1911 (pre-dates both Yugoslavias) that was later usurped and abused by Yugoslavs, both of the communist and royalist (Serbian dynasty lickers) orientation.

    Hajduk assumed an “international” flavor during Yugo and was the most popular club in the “regijon” and beyond. Its Croatian roots were systematically uprooted and destroyed. It wood regain its true identity only with the rebirth of the Croatian state. For as much as the Yugo-nostalgics pine for the “greatest” Hajduk generations in the 60s and 70s, you should all be reminded that Hajduk enjoyed its greatest fame and success in 1994, when it played in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league. So much for Yugo-nostalgia and its mythology.

    Both clubs, Hajduk and Dinamo, had CORE supporter groups that were Croatian nationalists. All the other fans were, much like today and in any other era, just going with the flow.

    There’s no need to make excuses for either of these clubs. They were run and pillaged by communists, Yugo-secret police – you name it. But they were/are Croatian clubs because of the Croatian support – and for no other reason.

    HOWEVER, Big HOWEVER, Hajduk has regained its identity, while Dinamo is Mamic’s club. Dinamo has no identity save for what it experienced during Yugoslavia. F*ck that. Dinamo should shed its communist birth name and get rid of Mamic (pipe-dream). Heck, a new team should be founded altogether – or fans of Dinamo should switch to another club.

    I find it extremely interesting, but not shocking, how Dinamo (the “ustaski” klub) was founded by communists and persists even today…. much like Red Star Belgrade – a greater-Serbian royalist club that retains its Yugoslav identity. Why? People from the “Balkans” really are fucking stupid, when you think about it.

    Dinamo ZG, the consummate CROATIAN team, they will have us believe – and let’s give it to them, refuses to shed its Yugoslav and communist name. Red Start Belgrade, the consummate Serbian (royalist and imperialist to boot) team, still carries its communist and Yugoslav name.

    I can understand the Serbs, because they’re DUMB fucks – but I do not understand the Croats. Nuh-uh.



  41. Doktor Prle says:

    Ha, I’ll never forget how the Boys, wittingly or not, used to write this particular graffiti:

    “Da je sloboda i demokracija bio bi Dinamo a ne Kroacija. (If there was freedom and democracy it would be called Dinamo and not Croatia).”

    Yeah, sure, the Boys will say they were challenging Tudjman’s “autocracy” and even – “dictatorship!” hahhahha only when it comes to the club’s name. But one can’t but notice the irony! LOL

    When there was NO freedom and NO democracy, it was in fact Dinamo and NOT Croatia (not just the club, but the state of Croatia!) did not exist.

    I will also remind everyone that there were many hands involved in the revolt that brought back Dinamo. And I will also tell you what that particular graffiti’s real meaning was:

    “Da je slobode i demokracije, bilo bi Jugoslavije a ne Hrvatske.”

    And, yes, Yugoslavs really believe their country was both free and democratic. Just ask them. They will tell you: “Oh, so popular elections didn’t exist – but the communists, within their leagues, did hold elections.” As far as freedom goes to them, their Yugoslavia was paradise.

    Like I said, the “Balkans” are rife with a lot of very dumb fucking people. But, if they like it – let ‘em have it.

    Only in Croatia can Tudjman be a dictator, and Tito a democrat. Only in Croatia. Dumb fucks.



  42. Doktor Prle says:

    The alchemy and the treason of the “Balkans” – the constant switching of sides and the invention of bizarre theories and excuses – have always pissed me off. I’m tired of the absurdities and I’m tired of the paradoxes.

    I root for Hajduk, I’ve already admitted it in the past – and I will also admit my slight bias – but I despise everything from the Yugoslav and communist era. And that includes Hajduk. I will discuss it. I will talk about it. I will discuss achievements, players (hey, it wasn’t their fault, was it? – not really) but it makes me sick to my stomach.

    Hajduk? Yes. HAJDUK 1911. And Hajduk 1991. To me, Hajduk basically didn’t exist between those two years, and I wasn’t alive for most of those years anyway.

    Sadly, that’s the bulk of Hajduk’s history. But I didn’t dictate history. I only dictate my personal preferences.



  43. Ante Kvartuč Ante Kvartuč says:

    Ladies and gentlemen,

    I’d like to officially congratulate Doktor Prle with CroatianSports.com’s 60,000th comment!

    “Ha, I’ll never forget how the Boys, wittingly or not, used to write this particular graffiti:
    “Da je sloboda i demokracija bio bi Dinamo a ne Kroacija. (If there was freedom and democracy it would be called Dinamo and not Croatia).”
    Yeah, sure, the Boys will say they were challenging Tudjman’s “autocracy” and even – “dictatorship!” hahhahha only when it comes to the club’s name. But one can’t but notice the irony! LOL
    When there was NO freedom and NO democracy, it was in fact Dinamo and NOT Croatia (not just the club, but the state of Croatia!) did not exist.
    I will also remind everyone that there were many hands involved in the revolt that brought back Dinamo. And I will also tell you what that particular graffiti’s real meaning was:
    “Da je slobode i demokracije, bilo bi Jugoslavije a ne Hrvatske.”
    And, yes, Yugoslavs really believe their country was both free and democratic. Just ask them. They will tell you: “Oh, so popular elections didn’t exist – but the communists, within their leagues, did hold elections.” As far as freedom goes to them, their Yugoslavia was paradise.
    Like I said, the “Balkans” are rife with a lot of very dumb fucking people. But, if they like it – let ‘em have it.
    Only in Croatia can Tudjman be a dictator, and Tito a democrat. Only in Croatia. Dumb fucks.”



  44. Marko says:

    @Doctor Prle

    Bravo – an excellent post.

    One other thing to add however – whatever happened in red Yugoslavia (and your post summarised that part of history brilliantly) – in today’s Croatia, being a Hajduk supporter is the only way Dalmatians have to express any kind of togetherness or shared values. It doesn’t matter any more if they’re former NDH (like most of my family were), commies, or Yugos. There’s nothing left in Dalmatia apart from the tourists and our beautiful Jadransko more, now that the heart of traditional life has been ripped out of the selo and anyone with a dream to work or earn money or with an education has long since moved to ZG or abroad.

    Supporting Hajduk today is like Dalmatians celebrating a shared pessimism in something they love which has been the only constant in their lives over the last 70 years of profound change and trauma – our beloved Hajduk may be losing and can’t even beat third rate teams from Georgia at home in Poljud, but at least we can all be miserable together both as Dalmatians and as patriotic Croatians (the HNK in Hajduk and having a name untainted by communism is a big, big thing to me and to many people) – it’s a dual identity but it works somehow.

    Not sure if there’s the same feeling of collective pessimism and trying to protect a diminishing regional identity which is within the modern day Hajduk psyche, as there is in the psyche for Dinamo who still have a successful team (in Croatian footballing terms at least) and now a growing fan base all over Croatia as the only CRO team worth supporting because unlike Hajduk they’re good enough and smart enough to play in the CL/EL each year, even though they also have Mamic and that communist-era name. Who am I to judge whether that’s better or worse – it’s just different, and I’ll still always be Hajduk.



  45. Danny says:

    Colin,
    Why would you sit in that area. I go to qualifying games yearly and never have an issue. The picture you paint is not the typical qualifying game experience. Don`t be deterred people.

    Danny iz Canada



  46. Denis Svircic says:

    @Colin,

    Dude, well done.

    When I went to Malta to cover Hajduk back in 2008 against Birkirkara I was smart, I sat on the home side :)

    @Doktor prle,

    Well said. Not much more to add on that topic.

    @Marko,

    I agree as well. When you think of Dalmacija the next thing that comes to mind is Hajduk.



  47. Oh says:

    Oh please another dumb ass post by Doktor Prie but of course it is superb as he plays to a certain crowd on this one. Funny how he leaves certain key points out re: Hajduk. Jebi ga that is life. People always want to change history.



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