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For millions of football fans around Europe the highlight of the year, the Euro 2012 in Poland and Ukraine, comes closer and closer. With the start of the Euro for Croatian fans will end an extremely bad and long time of suffering after missing the World Cup 2010 in South Africa. Not only the missed WC bothered the fans of the so called Vatreni, also the Euro qualifying campaign seemed for a long time to end really bad. During this time many Croatians fans clearly lost their faith in the Bilic Boys.
But sometimes faith is the only thing left for a football fan, especially if fortune hits hard on you. Maybe this is the reason why the official fan club of the Croatian national football team is called Uvijek Vjerni (in English: always faithful). The club was founded in March 2008 by the Croatian football federation (CFF) and is therefore entitled as the official fan club of the Croatian national football team. According to his own statement, the club has more than 17.000 members, making it the biggest Croatian fan association worldwide.
Looking back in time there was no better moment to establish such a fan club. At this time Croatian football fans europe-wide became increasingly conspicuous for racist violence. Followed by the sporting failure against Turkey in the quarter-finals of Euro 2008, to Croatian fans better known as the tragedy of Vienna, Croatian supporters were destroyed to the ground. Even 1 million members would not have been able to relieve the pain of this defeat, but still it was good to know that you are not alone in this very dark moment. And this is exactly the overarching aim of the club, uniting Croatian fans around the world.
Since the founding of Uvijek Vjerni the CFF seems to handle much better with fan riots. The club consciously speaks out against xenophobia, racism and violence, every fan of the Croatian national football team is welcome, regardless of age, ethnicity or gender. And that’s the way how it should be!
The club does not only organizes the ticket distribution for the CFF, he is also responsible for the traveling of thousands of Croatian fans to the Euro 2012 and coordinates a dozen of fan activities on site such as stadium choreographies or public viewing events for those who unfortunately have to stay at home. Thanks to Uvijek Vjerni we will again see many crazy Croatian football fans wearing red-white checkered shirts and singing fan chants in the inner-cities of Poznan and Gdansk, like 2008 in Austria and Switzerland.
How much the association is attached to the national football team can be recognized by the Croatian football kit. Inside the neck you’ll find the name of the fan club embroidered. It’s like the perfect symbiosis, the fans in the back of the team and the Vatreni in the hearts of the supporters!
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