Zagreb in turmoil on eve of season

The Croatian league gets underway this weekend and the reigning champions, Dinamo Zagreb will be kicking-off under something of a dark cloud. The club’s chairman, Zdravko Mamic and his brother Zoran, the coach, were both arrested this week after investigations into possible embezzlement and tax fraud. They were snatched as they crossed the border from Slovenia, where Dinamo had  been preparing for the new    campaign. Both men claim their innocence and Dinamo have said that the accusations are “unfounded and odd”. The brothers’ houses were both raided as the said they were “collecting urgent evidence”. Despite presiding over Croatia’s most … Continue reading Zagreb in turmoil on eve of season

Zagreb and Split, a tale of two cities

In the final part of the Balkan Trilogy, we look at two clubs who were once tricky European campaigners, Dinamo Zagreb and Hadjuk Split. About 15 years ago, I was in the centre of Zagreb, being shown around the fish market. My guide was very proud of this fairly modest market. Next to one stall, there was a man selling football souvenirs. I asked him if he had a Dinamo Zagreb pennant, to which he said, “Croatia….not Dinamo.” At the time, the team I had always known as Dinamo Zagreb, notably for its victory over two legs in the Inter-Cities … Continue reading Zagreb and Split, a tale of two cities