Tag Archives: Croatia

News+: Building collapse amid powerful earthquake in Petrinja


The Balkan region lies on major fault lines and is regularly hit by earthquakes.

A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake tore down buildings in central Croatia on Tuesday, striking near the town of Petrinja where rescue teams raced to comb through the rubble.

The tremor, one of the strongest to rock Croatia in recent years, collapsed rooftops in Petrinja, home to some 20,000 people, and left the streets strewn with bricks and other debris.

“We are pulling people from the cars, we don’t know if we have dead or injured,” Darinko Dumbovic, the mayor of Petrinja told regional broadcaster N1.

“There is general panic, people are looking for their loved ones,” he added.


Rescue workers and the army were deployed to search for trapped residents, with no casualties initially reported.

“I’m scared, I can’t reach anyone at home as the phone lines are dead,” one worried woman in Petrinja told N1.


The quake was also felt in the capital Zagreb, 50 kilometres (30 miles) north of the epicentre, where tiles were ripped off roofs and panicked residents gathered streets, according to an AFP reporter.

Electricity was cut in the city centre.

Two quakes
The quake, which struck around 1130 GMT according to the US Geological Survey (USGS), rattled Petrinja just one day after a smaller earthquake struck the town, causing some damage to buildings.


The tremors reverberated across neighbouring countries, including Serbia, Slovenia and as far away as the Austrian capital Vienna.

As a precaution, Slovenia moved to shut down the Krsko nuclear power plan it co-owns with Croatia.

European Union leaders said they were closely following the “devastating earthquake” in member state Croatia.

“We are ready to support,” European Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen wrote on Twitter, adding that the bloc’s civil protection team was “ready to travel to Croatia as soon as the situation allows”.


Charles Michel, president of the European Council, said “our thoughts go out to the injured and frontline workers”.

In March, Zagreb was damaged by a 5.3-magnitude quake, the most powerful to hit the capital decades.



Croatia confident Modric will play at Euro 2021, says Davor Suker

Davor Suker has expressed his confidence that Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric will still lead Croatia out at the European Championship next summer, despite the fact he’ll be close to his 36th birthday.

The former Tottenham star skippered his country to the World Cup final back in 2018, with his performances seeing him claim the Ballon d’Or that year – the first player other than Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi to win the award since 2007.

The 34-year-old has seen his game time limited at Madrid in the 2019-20 season, making 14 starts in La Liga as Zinedine Zidane seeks to rotate him with the likes of Toni Kroos and Federico Valverde.


UEFA announced in March that Euro 2020 would be pushed back a year due to the coronavirus outbreak, leaving question marks over the involvement of many players in their late thirties.

But legendary former striker Suker, who is now the president of the Croatian Football Federation, is sure that Modric will still be in a position to feature for his country at the rescheduled Euros.

He told Goal: “I’m sure that he will be at his best level. He is our captain, and he still plays very good football. He showed that in our recent games, and with Real Madrid.


“I’m sure that he will be our leader next year, in the same way that he did in Russia.”

Croatia finished top of the qualification group for the Euro finals, ahead of the likes of Wales and Slovakia, and Suker is sure they are capable of having similar success in 2021 as they did in Russia in 2018.

“This is what allowed [Croatia head coach Zlatko] Dalic, Modric, [Ivan] Rakitic and others to have the respect of the whole world. Croatia plays with this mentality.”

Suker also praised UEFA’s decision to move the competition and is pleased that Croatia, and other international teams, have extra time to prepare and potentially select players that are currently injured.


The former Real Madrid forward added: “It was a good decision. It’s important for us to play this competition in the best conditions. It allows us to have one more year to be prepared, and recover injured players. And it’s the case for all the participants.”

Commenting on the coronavirus situation that has halted football across the globe, Suker is hopeful that the top-flight in Croatia will be able to get underway soon and that they will not have to cancel the 2019-20 season, as has happened in Holland.

“Health issues come first, and then football. The decision was made to postpone the leagues but we have to think about how to resume. And that’s why we’ve taken decisions, such as testing before games.


“Every week, we will carry out tests. Of course, all these issues are important for all clubs, leagues and national associations and TV rights are also a big issue.

“We will do everything possible to avoid Covid-19, in addition to the decisions we’ve already made, and with the help of the authorities. In Croatia, the government has made some great decisions and we will hopefully play very soon.”


Ivan Rakitic unveils his future at Barcelona and euro 2020 as his last for Croatia

…His Final Bow for croatia.

Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic has said he is not considering leaving Barcelona at present, while admitting that Euro 2020 could be his final tournament with Croatia.

The midfielder started the season in the cold at club level, limited largely to substitute appearances domestically, but he has slowly re-established himself into the side and become an important player in recent weeks.

Isco Alarcon,Ivan Rakitic
Speculation persists surrounding a January exit, with Barcelona thought to be keen to offload the 31-year-old, but in an interview with Croatian outlet Sportske Novosti, Rakitic would not be drawn into that conversation.

“There’s nothing to say. I think everything is clear,” he said, when asked about his Barcelona future and his recent re-instalment into the team. “It is important to me that I enjoy football, that I am happy to go to training in the morning, to prepare myself for the game in the best possible way.

“In the end, it is the coach who decides who will play and how much.”

He was pressed for comment on whether he is being forced out of the club by manager Ernesto Valverde and director of football Eric Abidal, but again would not be drawn in. His contract is up in 2021 but for now, at least, he remains focused on performing in Catalonia.

“I have nothing to say about who said what he did and did; the most important question is whether they can play in Barcelona. If I can, it’s clear to me that Barcelona is the best place for me.

Ivan Rakitic,Mikel Merino
“We will see how it will be, but I am preparing for my contribution as much as possible in the next period. I have been here for five and a half years, having lived my most significant days in Barcelona, and I am convinced that the best, in fact, in front of me.”

More telling were his quotes on his Croatia future. Rakitic has starred in a golden era for the Croatian national side, helping them to a World Cup final in 2018, but he admits that Euro 2020 – where he will take on England, the Czech Republic and one of the playoff winners – could be his final bow.

“Yes, it is possible,” he said, when asked if his final international appearance could come in the summer. “Let’s be real, that’s quite clear. We will see what and how, first of all, what ideas the menu will have. I haven’t talked to [Croatia manager Zlatko Dalic] in a while, he didn’t even call or visit me.

Botond Barath,Ivan Rakitic
“We will consider what is best, not only for me, but for the whole national team. I said I would give everything I needed for young players.

“The most important is the well-being of Croatia, we will solve the rest. Slowly. It doesn’t matter what I want, but what is best for all of us.”


FUTO students that were released by the Bosnian accused Croatian police.

…says their money were stolen

Abia Uchenna and Eboh Chinedu, the two
students of the Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) who were held in a Bosnian refugee camp after participating in an international table tennis competition in Croatia, have accused the Croatian police of stealing their money and threatening to kill them.

Recall, NobleReporters reported that two students detained by the Bosnian police were released and returned to Nigeria.

(See the first story here)

The FUTO students who said they were arrested while preparing to return to Nigeria on November 18, disclosed they were subsequently taken to the Bosnia-Herzegovina border. According to the two students, their phones and wallets which were initially seized from them when they were arrested were returned but their money €310 and $10 were missing.

Recounting their ordeal while being hosted by the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission in Abuja, Uchenna who is a 500-level student of computer science said;

“We crashed out of the tennis championships in the second stage, so we were supposed to return to Nigeria on November 18, 2019. A day before which is November 17, we decided to look around the city.

“When we were in Pula, we moved around and toured the city. In Zagreb, we decided to look around when a policeman stopped us and demanded to know our identity.

“We explained to him that we are Nigerians and that we participated in a table tennis championship, but the problem I noticed was that he did not speak English.

“So, he said we should sit on the ground along the road. He made a call and another policeman came and they took us to a police station. They collected our wallets and phones.

“They drove us again for over four hours, then they stopped and asked everyone to sign a document that was written in their language without translation. I signed it out of fear, but Chinedu refused and the policeman kicked him, cocked his gun and threatened to shoot him. So, he signed.

“They put us back in the van again and drove us for about two hours. When we got to a forest, they ordered everyone out of the van. They gave me a carton containing our phones, belts and wallets and the €310 and $10 dollars were not there.”


Croatian police force deported 2 Nigerian table tennis players

…uchenna and chinedu were deported to Bosnia

Police in Croatia have deported two Nigerian table-tennis players, Abie Uchenna Alexandra and Kenneth Chinedu to Bosnia and Herzegovina, claiming both men were in the country illegally, even though they both arrived in Croatia with valid visas.

According to Hina, the government-owned national news agency, Alexandra and Chinedu, students from Owerri Technical University in Nigeria, arrived in Zagreb the capital of Croatia on November 12 to participate in the sport’s World University Championships in Pula.

Croatian police deport Nigerian table tennis players with valid visas to Bosnia after they suspected them as

After the tournament ended two weeks ago, both Nigerians traveled from Pula to Zagreb, and settled into a hostel on November 16 then decided to check out the city as tourists since they were scheduled to fly back to Nigeria through Istanbul on November 18.

The pair were then stopped and arrested by police as they got off a train because they were not carrying their documents with them..They were then put in a van and taken to the Bosnia border and then dumped near a forest area.

“They took us to the police station. We tried to explain who we were and that we had left our documents in the hostel. They didn’t pay attention to what we were saying,” said Chinedu.

“I refused to go into the woods,” said Chinedu. “The officer told me he would shoot me if I didn’t move.”

After being chased by police, they reached the Miral Camp near Velika Kladusa in Bosnia. The students complained to representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which runs the Miral Camp, and it was confirmed that the students had been staying in Croatia with legal visas.

Alberto Tanghetti, a representative of the Inter-University Sports Committee and the organiser of the competition in Pula, confirmed the validity of the Nigerian’s stay in Croatia.

“The two students were participating in the competition, they had a Croatian visa, return plane tickets from Zagreb to Istanbul and from Istanbul to Lagos,” Tanghetti said to Al Jazeera.