The Croatian national football team is the biggest football power of all the countries of the former Yugoslavia. This is simply shown by the results and the continuity they have. Why is this so, let the sports experts analyze it, and at this moment it is worth touching on the perception of such a situation and trying to answer why people in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) also heartily support their neighbors.
Two nights ago, Croatia once again took a step toward the top of the football world, and this success of our neighbors was noticeably celebrated and welcomed in BiH, especially in Sarajevo.
Probably many have people among their friends who are born contrarians, so in everything, they will look for the opposite of the image they see. Not even sports, in this case, football, are immune from such a situation.
The war in BiH ended 27 years ago. The war in which Bosniaks suffered the highest percentage of casualties, and BiH as a country was infrastructurally destroyed. BiH was attacked, and politicians and military officials of Serbia and Croatia were convicted of crimes in The Hague. Those are the facts.
So when Croatia goes to the semi-finals of the biggest football event in the world, you will quickly be reminded of the demolition of the Old Bridge in Mostar or some other crimes.
Anyone who maintains mental hygiene is aware that he will not and should not forget any victim, any collapsed bridge, or any prison camp. But why should cheering for sports and rejoicing in the success of your neighbor automatically mean that this person turns a blind eye to the facts of the past? Why can’t we see sports support for our neighbors as a glimmer of civilizational hope, a step towards the bright spots of the present, and hope for a better and healthier future?
In Sarajevo, that step was made two nights ago. Sarajevo rose above the swampy and poisoned narrative that everything should be spit on, especially the success of your neighbors. Anyone who passed through Sarajevo two nights ago could see the crowd in cafes jumping at every Croatian goal and every Brazil miss. Such a situation cannot be acted or faked. This is a truly friendly feel and approach. This is Sarajevo, which in its approach to sports success is greater than the whole of Serbia and greater than the nationalist outbursts in parts of Herzegovina. Because unfortunately, one cannot even express joy without insulting another. And that is also a fact, but that narrative should not be given priority. One should be aware of that, but not succumb to a similar primitive approach.
And if someone were to retort that they were cheering for Brazil in Sarajevo two nights ago, they are right. And that is not and should not be disputed, but it is important to send the message that life is not only about politics. Life is people who wish good for others, who are also aware of the past but look at the world steadfastly and optimistically.
And if someone were to retort that two nights ago songs were sung in parts of Herzegovina glorifying or mentioning the so-called Herzeg-Bosna, he is right. But a man chooses what is his guide in life. The one who is self-aware will know how to distinguish good from evil. And cheering for the great sporting success of your neighbor is good and does not mean any half-heartedness nor does it allude to the historical concept of ”Flowers of Croatia”, which will be emphasized by those who see evil intent in everything.
And Croatia, a country with less than four million citizens, knocked out mighty Brazil and showed that regardless of who you are and where you are from, with the right approach, there is hope. They showed that even small people can be big. They showed that only the sky is the limit and that no one is unbeatable. They encouraged thousands of other boys and girls and proved that it can be done, Klix.ba reports.