Football in Croatia
As a result of a long tradition of success, football is the most popular sport in Croatia. The nation's first clubs (Football Club of Zagreb (PNISK) and Croatian Academic Sports Club (HASK)) were founded in 1903. The national team played its first match in 1907. The national association was first admitted to FIFA on 17 July 1941 and then again following the nation's independence on 3 July 1992. Croatia's greatest achievement was of course a third-place finish at the 1998 FIFA World Cup France?. In addition, NK Dinamo Zagreb beat Leeds United to win the UEFA Cup in 1967. Many players have emerged from Croatia's fertile breeding grounds to pursue a career with top clubs abroad. The current generation includes Davor Suker, Robert Prosinecki, Zvonimir Boban, Dario Simic and Igor Tudor. Famous retired Croatian footballers include Bernard Vukas (Hajduk Split, capped 59 times and voted Croatian sportsman of the 20th Century), Frane Matosic (729 goals in 739 national league games) and Franjo Wölfl (top scorer in the Yugoslavian championship twelve times in the 1950s and 60s). There have also been many renowned Croatian coaches: Tomislav Ivic (won league championship in four different countries), Miroslav Blazevic (Croatian national coach in 1996 and 1998), Mirko Jozic (won the World Youth Championship with the Yugoslavian team in Chile in 1987) and Branko Zebec (coached in Germany) are just a few of a long list of great Croatian technicians.
The first Goal Project
On 24 August 2001, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter opened the new headquarters of the national association in Zagreb, which were purchased with money from the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme and renovated using Goal funding. The IT systems have being updated in order to electronically link up all the regional associations and the first, second and third division clubs. Croatia has a long tradition of work in youth football. Many new competitions have been introduced in various age categories. Significant improvements are also discernible in women's football. Technical and tactical standards have improved considerably in recent years. During the conflict in the Balkans, Croatia did a great deal to safeguard sport and offered emergency aid to a number of national associations. As a result, the Football Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina temporarily used the facilities of the Croatian Football Federation when no communication infrastructure was available in Sarajevo.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Renovation of national association headquarters, computer system in Zagreb
Project approved
4 July 2001
Opened on 24 August 2001
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 49,600 Total cost USD 449,600