Friday, 30 November 2012

Zenica shows its support towards Palestine

People of all ages came out in Zenica tonight to show
their solidarity with the Palestinian population.
More than 200 people took to the streets of Zenica this evening in a strong show of support towards the Palestinian population.

Waving Palestinian flags and carrying signs which called for an end to Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, locals organised the demonstration following recent Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip, which saw 161 Palestinians - including 71 civilians - killed in the space of eight days.

One of the organisers of the event, Semir Topoljak, told ZenicaBlog that the deaths of innocent Palestinians during Israel's week-long offensive forced him and others to take action.

First major snowfall gifts photographers

Bosanski Novi this morning.
(Source: SRNA)
It may have been expected, but Friday's snowfall across parts of Bosnia and Herzegovina still managed to produce a number of spectacular photographs.

Although most of the nation remained unaffected, up to eight inches of snow was reported to have fallen on the north-western cities of Bihac and Bosanski Novi, providing a wonderful opportunity for local photojournalists to dusts off their lenses and take some snaps for us.

The cold snap signals the beginning of the winter season in BiH, with climatologist Dzenan Zulum telling that residents of central and eastern Bosnia can expect snow to begin falling in their areas as early as Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Humanitarian Concert for Amina Halilic (Zenica)

Singing for Amina: An ever-present reminder that the
occasion was all about helping the 15-year-old.
On Wednesday evening, a charity concert was organised to raise money for young Zenica local, Amina Halilic, who suffers from a rare heart condition.

I had the fantastic opportunity to go along to the event staged at Zenica's National Theatre, with the night aimed at helping Halilic's family find the 6,000 BAM ($3,800 AUD) necessary to fly Amina to Turkey for medical examinations, which will determine if her condition is treatable.

With an entry fee of 5 BAM, the arena was packed to not only help out the 15-year-old, but also to catch a glimpse of a number of famous - and, well, not-so-famous - local acts.

Photo of the Day: Sarajevo

Check out this gem of a photo of a rainbow running across Sarajevo's skyline this morning!

Courtesy of Sarajevo resident Armin Dervoz, who sent the photo to news portal Klix:

Click to enlarge!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Bosnia-Herzegovina Quiz!

Alright guys, don't you think it's time for a little bit of fun?

Instead of writing up another news-piece this evening, I thought I would mix my content up a bit and provide you with a little bit of a quiz which I have penned myself!

So, come on, you think you know all there is to know about the nation that is Bosnia and Herzegovina?

Here, there is no mucking around. See if you can answer the questions, and then use the points table at the bottom to see how you faired! (One correct answer = 1 point; Bonus question = 2 points.)

Oh, and yeah, good luck!

[**Click 'Read more >>'**]

Snow expected on Friday

A wave of unusually warm weather across BiH is set to come to a finish this week, with the onset of cold winter days expected to take over, according to Bosnian news portal Ekskluziva.

Despite today's top temperature of 17°C in Zenica, local weather forecasts predict that the maximum will drop to 7°C and then 6°C on Friday and Saturday respectively.

Ekskluziva reports that Friday's expected rain will eventually turn into sleet and snow during the afternoon (woo!).

Therefore, it seems like the real Bosnian winter is just about to begin. Need I remind you of the extremes that last season's snow season brought?

Check out this photo of me a day after arriving in Sarajevo in February earlier this year!

Bring it on again, I say!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Petition to stop air pollution in Zenica

The current air-pollution situation in Zenica has led to
parodies by some.
Now here's something interesting I stumbled across on the Internet the other day: a petition doing the rounds at the moment which is aimed at garnering support towards stopping the current air pollution in Zenica - most of which come from the city's industrial plants.

In particular scope of the petitioners is ArcelorMittal, a steel company which is owned and run by the richest man in Europe, Lakshmi Mittal.

Many locals say that ArcelorMittal is the biggest culprit when it comes to pollution, and a Euronews piece from December 2011 supports the notion that the company has been environmentally-irresponsible since taking over Zenica's plants.

You know you're Bosnian when ... (Part Two)

Okay, so you enjoyed the first part? Here is the second instalment for you.

Doesn't matter if you are Bosnian or not, I hope you can raise at least a laugh or two!

You know you're Bosnian when:

  • Your parents tell you that they had you, AND your sister/brother when they were your age.
  • A "couple of days" really means a week or so.
  • Your parents have "goblene" (needlepoint) on their walls, and "heklanje" (fine handmade lace) on every piece of their furniture, including the TV.
  • Your parents make "zimnica" (canned vegetables) every September.

Monday, 26 November 2012

You know you're Bosnian when ... (Part One)

Here's something amusing I found on the 'net the other evening.

How do you know when you're Bosnian?

I will split them across two posts - so expect the second part in the coming days.


You know you're Bosnian when:
  • Your family owns a manual coffee grinder
  • You take your shoes off when you enter the house, and every family member has his/her own slippers (plus some extra for the guests)
  • Your neighbour comes over every day uninvited, for coffee
  • Your father wears striped pyjamas
  • You start your day with a cup of coffee and a cigarette
  • You have 17 consonants and 2 vowels in your last name
  • Your mother/nena (grandmother) won’t accept the fact that you’re not hungry

Sunday, 25 November 2012

25 November: Statehood Day of BiH

Communist Party activist and later People's
Hero of Yugoslavia Rada Vranjesevic
speaking at ZAVNOBiH.
(Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Today, November 25, is celebrated as Statehood Day in the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina.

It is on this day in 1943 that the Anti-Fascist Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina (ZAVNOBiH) adopted a resolution declaring Bosnia and Herzegovina an equal community of Serbs, Muslims and Croats.

Serbians reject the historical importance of this event, arguing that the date of November 21 is more apt as a national celebration, as this is when the Dayton Peace agreement was signed (in 1995), thus allowing for the establishment of the Republika Srpska entity. Because of this, today's date is not celebrated by Serbians in BiH.

So, it is perhaps for this reason that an amusing gag is currently doing the rounds on the Internet at the moment. (Well, it raised a laugh or two from me.)

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Song of the Day: Dino Merlin

Edin Dervishalidovic, stage name Dino Merlin, is a prominent Bosnian singer-songwriter, musician and producer. Merlin has been active in the music industry since 1983, with some of the feats throughout his career including representing Bosnia-Herzegovina at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest (finishing 6th), as well as writing the song used as the first national anthem of BiH titled Jedna si jedina!

Here he is with one of his most popular songs - and my personal favourite - Da Sutis:

English translation:
tell everyone I'm here
let them see, let them hear
what my body feels
like a new power/current
blind for my yearning
only tonight don't be like that
I know you can do much better
of course I know that

Friday, 23 November 2012

Another McDonalds opens in BiH

Locals flock to the opening of a new McDonalds store in
The ribbon was cut on a new McDonalds store in Tuzla on Friday, making it the fourth city in Bosnia-Herzegovina where the fast food giant has opened its business since last year.

Dozens of Tuzla locals - particularly youths - turned up for the opening of the store, which adds to the McDonalds outlets already operating in Sarajevo, Mostar and Banja Luka.

Tuzla's McDonalds is just the fifth of its kind to be unveiled in BiH, after the first was opened in August 2011 in Sarajevo - which now has a second store that has since been built.

The construction of this latest franchise to hit the country is said to have taken more than 18 months to build and cost more than 2 million Bosnian convertible marks ($1.27 million AUD).

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Zenica: Imams, priests play for youngsters

The priests and imams line up together prior to kick-off for
the charity event.
A football match played in Zenica last night between Islamic imams and Catholic priests has helped raise money for much-needed upgrades to the city's pre-school institutions.

An audience in excess of 4,000 turned out for the event, each paying 2 BAM ($1.25 AUD) for entry, with all proceeds from the match headed directly towards funding the upheaval of local kindergartens.

More than just working towards providing a better education for Zenica's children, the evening served to showcase how religious divides can be crossed in order to come together for good social causes. Further, it ignited hope that such inter-religious camaraderie can be more prevalent in other circles of Bosnia-Herzegovina's society.

Photo of the Day: Robijasi Zenica

Robijasi Zenica celebrate their 24th birthday with a pyrotechnics display in the 24th minute of Celik Zenica's clash with Siroki Brijeg last night.

Sadly, Celik succumbed to Siroki on penalties (after the aggregate score over the two legs was tied at 2-all), all but knocking them out of this year's Bosnia-Herzegovina Cup competition.

Oh well .. as they've been saying in Zenica for some time now, 'There's always next year'!

(Click on the image to see it in full size.)

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Celik Zenica in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Football Cup

Celik Zenica will be looking to provide the perfect birthday
gift for their Robijasi fans when they take on Siroki Brijeg
in Zenica today.
In just over four hours' time, Celik Zenica will take to the pitch at the city's Bilino Polje stadium to tackle Siroki Brijeg in the second leg of their quarter-final tie of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Cup.

The result of the first match, played on this day in Siroki Brijeg two weeks ago, was a 1-all draw - providing Celik with a fantastic opportunity this afternoon to win through to the next stage of the competition on home soil.

On paper, the fixture seems a bit of a mis-match; Siroki sit third on the BiH League table, whilst Celik remain languishing in ninth position. However, it is worth noting that Celik are unbeaten in their last seven matches, and, in fact, defeated Siroki in the league competition in Zenica when they were 2-1 victors back in August. Mind you, it is also worth pointing out that Siroki have lost just one of their 14 matches since that fixture.

One thing is for certain: it will be a tense match, with plenty on the line.

Should Celik progress through to the semi-finals of the competition, it will place them one step closer to realising their dream of returning to European competition. For that to occur, however, they would almost certainly have to win the Cup competition, or hope that they play-off in the Final with the winner of the league competition.

The Zenica side made the final of the BiH Cup in the 2010-11 season, only to lose out convincingly to Bosnian heavyweights Zeljeznicar over two legs.

The last time Celik played in European competition was in 2008, when they were knocked out in the first round of the now-defunct Intertoto Cup by Montenegro outfit OFK Grbalj.

Nonetheless, there is a long way to go before Celik is in Europe again. A good result against Siroki Brijeg today is an absolute must! I'll be on the stadium this afternoon to lend my support as usual.

PS. Happy birthday to the supporters' group of Celik Zenica - Robijasi - who celebrated their 24th birthday a number of days ago (not a bad innings for a group of fans!). I'm sure a win today would be the perfect present for them.

' .. bit ce Celik opet sampion ..'

Photo of the Day: Sarajevo

Hundreds of local citizens gather to peacefully march through the centre of Sarajevo in support of the Palestinian people.
Around 135 Gazans, including women and children, have been killed in more than 1,450 Israeli attacks on the besieged Palestinian territory since November 14.
Many of the protesters in Sarajevo drew a link between Israel's offensives in Gaza and the acts of violence committed during the Bosnian war in the early 1990s.


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Fact of the Day: Unexploded mines in BiH

A common sight across many areas
of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
There currently exists an estimated 650,000 unexploded mines 220,000 unexploded mines in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

This reportedly covers up to 2.8% of the nation's entire territory.

Since the end of the Balkan War during the mid 1990s, there have been significant efforts from BiH and international organisations to clear the country of these dangerous explosives.

The Bosnia-Herzegovina Mine Action Centre holds the goal of a mine-less nation by 2019.

Monday, 19 November 2012


Hey guys,

Sorry as I failed to inform you, but I've been away since Saturday afternoon in the city of Tuzla, so was unable to update this page at all.

However, just for the sake of informing you, it was an enjoyable few days up there, and I am glad for taking the opportunity to see the area.

For those who are wondering, Tuzla is the fourth-largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with a population of around 120,000 - making it slightly bigger than Zenica. It has a very nice central area with clean parks and restaurants with decent food. If you have the time and you are in the area, Tuzla is definitely worth visiting so as to gain a taste of 'real' Bosnia!

If you want to read up a bit more on this city, click here.

Here are one or two photos to give you an idea of what Tuzla looks like:

Friday, 16 November 2012

Gotovina conviction overturned

Former Croatian Army General Ante Gotovina.
(Source: AFP/Getty Images)
The most senior Croatian military officer charged with crimes during the Balkan war of the 1990s has had his conviction overturned by an appeals court.

Ante Gotovina, who was commander in the Split district of the Croatian army, was ordered by the court to be immediately released alongside Mladen Markac, a Croatian war-time police commander who had also been imprisoned.

The decisions effectively crush the convictions handed down to the two men by the Hague War Crimes tribunal in 2011, where Gotovina was given a 24-year prison sentence, whilst Markac was jailed for 18 years.

Gotovina and Markac had been convicted of crimes against humanity, including murder and deportation, for their part in a military operation in 1995 known as Operation Storm, which involved an offensive by the Croatian Armed Forces in re-taking control of the Krajina region - originally-Croat territory that had fallen into Serbian hands in 1991.

Although the result of the Storm operation was a total victory for the Croatian army - with outnumbered Serbian forces in the area surrendering after four days of fighting - the battle itself was far from pretty.

According to figures from the United Nations, more than 1,000 Serbian civilians were killed alongside hundreds of soldiers, while around 150,000 to 200,000 people became refugees.

Columns of Krajina Serb refugees depart from
the area following the Croat success in
Operation Storm.
The original convictions ruled that both Gotovina and Markac had been part of a criminal conspiracy led by former Croat president Franjo Tudjman to expel Serbs from the region.

However, the appeals judges said prosecutors failed to prove the existence of such a conspiracy - a stance that ultimately led to the pair's acquittal.

The decision to overturn the sentences were sure to draw markedly different reactions in Croatia and Serbia.

The anniversary of the beginning of Operation Storm (August 5) is celebrated with a public holiday in Croatia and to honour the soldiers involved in the offensive, while the day is generally one of mourning for Serbians.

News of the release of Markac and, especially, Gotovina, who is seen as a national hero, led to street celebrations across Croatian cities, with people said to have cried with joy as they took to the streets with fireworks and Croatian flags.

In Serbia, the story was much different, with online news portal Blic running with the headline: "Scandalous decision: Gotovina and Markac free as if there had been no Operation Storm."

Many in Serbia complain of anti-Serb bias from the War Crimes tribunal at The Hague, which currently has Bosnian-Serb wartime leaders Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic on trial for crimes relating to the Srebrenica massacre and the siege of Sarajevo. The charges they are facing include genocide and crimes against humanity.


Earlier today I notched up my 25,000th view on this blog.

When I realise that this is one-quarter of the way to 100,000, I simply cannot believe it. This is a milestone I never thought I would reach when I began this blog - and to reach it in only a matter of months? Just wow.

Thank you to all of my readers whether you're from Cyprus, India, Indonesia, Egypt, USA, Sweden, or any other one of the various nations I have received feedback and compliments from.

It is not important if you had a look at my page just one time - I am simply glad for the time you took to read what I am writing about; and I hope they provided something to you, whether they were informative, humorous or otherwise - these are the reasons I write the stuff I write.

Once again, thank you to everyone. I hope you will stick around as I continue this journey :)

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Man of the Day: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Although he represents Sweden in football and is, therefore, technically a Swede, we are dedicating today's Video of the Day to Zlatan Ibrahimovic because, well, lets face it, he has a Balkan-sounding name, and both of his parents are originally from Croatia and Bosnia respectively!

(In fact, for those wishing to know, Zlatan's father is from the north-eastern Bosnian city of Bijeljina, whilst his mother has her roots on Croatia's coast in Zadar. Zlatan, however, was born in the Swedish city of Malmo.)

In case you haven't seen it yet, check out Ibrahimovic's incredible goal which he scored against England in a friendly match last night. Want to know what is more amazing? It was his fourth goal of the night, helping Sweden come-from-behind and eventually cruise to a 4-2 victory!

OK, enough talking from me; just check out the goal already:

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Islamic New Year

Happy Islamic New Year!
For those who are unaware, tonight marks the beginning of a new Islamic year.

Unlike the traditional Gregorian/Western calendar (with 365 days per year), the Islamic calendar is determined purely by lunar cycles. In Layman's terms, this means that an Islamic year generally comprises of around 354 days - though, obviously, it does alternate from time-to-time.

This date is also used to commemorate the 'Hijra' - also known as 'The Migration of Muhammad' - for when, in the year of 622 (if we're using a Gregorian calendar), the Islamic prophet Muhammad, along with his followers, made the 320-kilometre journey from Mecca to Medina after an assassination attempt against him became known.

In fact, it was the Hijra that was officially designated as the first year of the Islamic calendar by one of Muhammad's companions, Farooq the Great, in the year of 638 or 17 AH (anno hegirae = "in the year of the hijra").

Although most nations worldwide - regardless of their Muslim populations - utilise the Gregorian calendar, the hijra-lunar calendar is the official calendar used in Saudi Arabia.

Here in Bosnia-Herzegovina, there are some street banners which have been erected to celebrate the occasion, however, in all truth, it is not such a momentous date for the majority of citizens.

Nonetheless, for those of you wondering, tonight will be the beginning of the year 1434 AH by Islamic calculations.

A big happy new year to all of those who celebrate this date!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Random Bosnian Fact of the Day

The Bosnian alphabet contains 30 letters - four more than the English alphabet.
However, there are a number of letters from the English alphabet which are not used within Bosnian language, including 'Q', 'W', 'X' and 'Y'.

For a full picture of the Bosnian alphabet, check below:


Want a quick tutorial on how to pronounce some of those letters? (Hey, you never know when you will need to know it!) 
Then watch this video:

Monday, 12 November 2012

Dnevni Avaz - misinformation!

The issue I am addressing here has much
more to do with the respectability and
moral responsibility of journalism than it
does with my personal circumstances.
Hey guys, perhaps some of you are aware of all this, but this post is just to update you on some stuff that has been going on in the last week.

To provide you with a bit of background; last Wednesday I travelled to the Herzegovina city of Siroki Brijeg with a bus-load of other Celik Zenica fanatics to lend our support to Celik in the Bosnia-Herzegovina Cup competition.

As we were passing the city of Mostar upon our return to Zenica, our bus was attacked with rocks and other miscellaneous items, apparently by supporters of local football side Zrinjski.

I was personally injured in the attack, with something (a rock, I believe) striking me in the head. I required medical treatment - 3 stitches, to be precise - and an overnight stay at Mostar's Hospital.

Just as I was about to check out of the hospital on Thursday afternoon, a female journalist (of whom I only know as 'M. Hodzic'), from Sarajevo's daily newspaper Dnevni Avaz, visited me in my hospital room to ask a couple of questions about the incident.

Although I was a bit apprehensive to discuss the whole thing publicly, I felt a bit of compassion to at least provide some honest answers to a fellow journalist.

However, upon reading the version of the article which was put to print on Friday by that particular journalist, I was extremely unhappy to read certain things that were blatantly untrue.

Here is a photo of the article and, accompanied underneath, the section about me translated into English:

'Nothing better passed young Australian Rusty Woodger, who was injured in the attack by Zrinjski supporters. He, as he said, came in February to live in Zenica because of his girlfriend Selma. His friends invited him to the match in Siroki Brijeg and he openly accepted it, not knowing what's going to happen to him.

"I just fell asleep on the bus when suddenly something strong hit me. I see the stone. I was in shock, I couldn't understand what was going on. I see outside the group of angry young guys throwing the stones. At first, it didn't hurt me, nor was I afraid, but after that I fell into shock," Woodger said to us when we visited him yesterday in Mostar hospital.

Firstly, in response to the first underlined section; the way this is expressed is not entirely true. I was not 'invited' to the match by anyone. I read on the Internet that Robijasi (supporters group of Celik Zenica) were organising a bus to and from the away match in Siroki Brijeg - of which perked my interest. A day later, I decided to buy a ticket. I also knew that there was very much an associated risk with attending this match - it is no secret of what happened to FK Sarajevo supporter Vedran Puljic on an away match in that city just over 3 years ago. During the interview from the reporter, I never once intimated anything which would suffice for why the journalist wrote that particular sentence.

Moving on to the second underlined sentence - of which I believe is much worse - the reporter has quoted me as saying a vital piece of information of which I did not say! At no point did I see anyone or anything outside of the bus. I was hit in the head almost immediately as the attack began; being as dazed as I was, how could I see anything outside in the darkness of night? Never mind the question of how I could remember it, nor why I would even turn to look outside when extremely dangerous objects are being thrown inside the bus. On this occasion, the journalist has blatantly put words into my mouth; providing lies just because it helps her nicely round out her story.

Some people reading this might think 'Who cares?', but there are two main reasons why this irks me as much as it does.

First, unlike every other supporter who was on the bus, I have yet to be interviewed by police over the incident. If they have read my quotes from this popular newspaper, and I tell them that I saw nothing and nobody out of the bus (which is true), they could assume that it is me who is lying.

Secondly, publications of such mis-truths so openly in this section of the mainstream media have caused me to seriously question the reliability of some of the news outlets based in this country; not least because I regularly utilise them as sources for my own articles.

Moreover, my main gripe is not based solely around the fact I have personally been mis-quoted and mis-represented, but also due to the fact that this sort of misinformation tarnishes the profession of journalism, and makes it more difficult for the general public to trust what they are being told by their so-called 'unbiased' and 'fair' media.

Perhaps some of you believe that this journalism 'incident' is only a minor occurrence that does not deserve much attention, which might be true, but I think this is a problem which is taking place much more regularly than we think. I mean, we, the general public, are receiving the information from journalists believing that they have done thorough and responsible research into the topic; at no stage, in theory, should we be forced to question their integrity to a large degree.

This is, therefore, an issue that needs to be confronted head-on, so that in future we are not allowing people to be mis-represented, facts to be distorted, and lies to be told.

PS. For those who are wondering, the result of the match between Siroki Brijeg and Celik Zenica was 1-1. The return leg of the tie will be played on Zenica's Bilino Polje on Wednesday November 21. The winner of the fixture will move on to the semi finals of the Bosnia-Herzegovina Cup competition. Naprijed Celik!

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Things I'll miss about Bosnia: #5


I confess, this is the first thing I found in Google Images when
I searched 'Bosnian taxi'!
Well, there I go again. Yes, it might seem pretty random; but I am going to miss the taxi service that exists here in Zenica!

Now, come on, lets be honest for a minute. How many times have us Australians - or, at least, Victorians - commiserated over our own taxis? Ridiculous fares, not being able to find a spare cab - these things irk all of us from time-to-time!

Luckily, these issues certainly do not exist here.

Almost every fare in Zenica, no matter if you are headed from one side of the city to the other, has a flat-fee of 1.50 BAM (less than one Australian dollar), with no hidden additional fees.

Even in Sarajevo, with the so-called 'expensive' taxis (which use a fare meter), getting around is much easier on your wallet than it is down-under. Last weekend, I caught a cab from the Bascarsija centre to a suburb about 10 minutes away, and it only set me back around $6 AUD. Nice!

Further to all this, hailing a taxi down on the street is usually never a problem. Unlike back home, taxi drivers here will pick up multiple passengers on their way down any selected route.

Although this can sometimes be slightly annoying when you have to make a detour for someone else, it usually works to your favour when you do not have to wait for 40 taxis to fly past you before one finally pulls over!

So, dear Melbourne (and the rest of Australia); I know you probably never expected to hear this, but, when it comes to taxi services and making customers happy, take some hints from those over here in Bosnia!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Song of the Day: Dubioza Kolektiv

Dubioza Kolektiv is a Bosnian band from Zenica, whose music consists of various styles ranging from Reggae, Dub and Rock intermixed with political lyrics along with uplifting and melodic tendencies.
Dubioza Kolektiv's lyrics revolve around themes of peace, understanding and tolerance, alongside an extreme criticism of nationalism and injustice carried in Bosnia and Herzegovina that resulted in the Yugoslav Wars of the early 1990s.

[Source: Wikipedia]

Here they are with one of their hit songs, 'USA':

Monday, 5 November 2012

Bosnian Fact of the Day

The average monthly salary for a citizen in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina is around $510 (AUD); whilst the average in the Republika Srpska entity is roughly $490.

Bare in mind that this is in stark contrast to countries such as Germany and Australia, where the average monthly income amounts to around the $3,000 mark.

Is it any wonder why there are so many Bosnians leaving their homeland to seek better opportunities elsewhere?

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The 100th Sarajevo derby.

Sarajevo players embrace each other after coming out
victorious 1-0 over their arch nemesis Zeljeznicar.
(Source: Feda Krvavac /
Last night, whilst in Sarajevo, I was incredibly fortunate enough to attend the 100th instalment of the Sarajevo derby on Kosevo Stadium.

This fixture between old city foes FK Sarajevo and FK Zeljeznicar is undoubtedly the biggest of its kind in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and one of the fiercest in this part of Europe.

The match was a tight tussle, with a solitary goal in the 67th minute from Sarajevo's Samir Nuhanovic enough to gift the home side an important victory, which lifts them atop of the league table three points clear of Zeljeznicar.

Although the football on the pitch was exciting, it was difficult to avoid being distracted by what was occurring off it.

From a few hours before kick-off, the atmosphere on the streets of the city became electric. Thousands of marching fans chanting, jumping and singing was, I must admit, a beautiful sight to behold, and one I will remember for some time.

Once I made my way into the stadium, I set myself up on the East Stand. (Although I was surrounded by Sarajevo supporters, I was trying to remain as neutral as possible; after all, when it comes to BiH, I support Celik and nobody else!)

Despite the fact I am an aspiring journalist, there is insufficient vocabulary available in the English language to describe the atmosphere I witnessed during the match on Kosevo Stadium last night.

Sometimes, it is better to just show with pictures and videos (and that probably doesn't even do it justice).

So, here:

FK Sarajevo

'Now you know well that the city is ours'

FK Zeljeznicar