Bosnia and Herzegovina National Football Team
The Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team is governed by the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Their first match played was against Iran during the war in 1993 after the split of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. However the first official match came after the war in late 1995, played against Albania. Prior to that, Bosnian-Herzegovinian players played for the Yugoslavia national football team. The independent Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team has never qualified for any major tournament, but has come close on multiple occasions. They are improving each and every game.
BiH History – Soccer Football
In the qualifying campaign for Euro 2004, only one goal in the last home game against Denmark separated the Bosnian national football team from the play-off to the finals in Portugal. The team ended the qualifiers in fourth position, with the same amount of won games as the other three teams. They came so close. Denmark won the group, although Bosnia took 4 points from them in two head to head matches.
In the World Cup 2006 qualifying round, the Bosnians continued to play well when matched against teams like Spain (drawing both times), Belgium (one win, one loss), and Serbia and Montenegro (one draw, one loss). Playing against the Serbian team inspires much national pride, as is common with any match that features two former Yugoslav republics. Against Serbia and Montenegro, the Bosnian team drew at home but lost the second leg in Belgrade with a score 1–0. Both matches had extra precautions employed by officials to prevent nationalistic rioting. Disturbances occurred anyway and UEFA fined both football federations. The Bosnians finished third in the group four points behind second place Spain.
In 2009, the Bosnian national team made their greatest achievement in their history by qualifying for the UEFA Second Round in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification. They played Portugal in the contest, but did not win. Along the standard qualification process the team beat Belgium, Estonia and Armenia at both home and away. This is the furthest the Bosnian and Herzegovinian national team has progressed in any one qualification phase for a major tournament.
EURO 2012 looks promising for Bosnia, This will be another opportunity for the Bosnian National Team to shine and show the world the Bosna is a force not to be messed with.
Asim Ferhatovi? Hase Stadium (Koševo Stadium)
Koševo Stadium as it is also known was opened in the year 1947. In 1984, it was reconstructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, and is therefore often called Olympic Stadium. In the present day it is officially called “Asim Ferhatovi? – Hase” since July 2004, after Asim Ferhatovi?, the legendary FK Sarajevo player who retired in 1967. Today Koševo can seat 37,500 and is also the alternate home stadium of the national team.
For the first time in its history, Koševo Stadium, as it is otherwise known as, was not used in any of the qualifying home games by the Bosnian national side for the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification The Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina has acknowledged that both players and fans prefer Bilino Polje as the home stadium for the national team.
In addition, the FFA has been renovating the facilities there indicating its plans for the future. Asim Ferhatovi? Hase Stadium has however been used for friendly matches while another Sarajevo club has given permission to also use
their Grbavica Stadium for team training sessions. The stadium is being expected to host the most important matches in the qualification for Euro 2012, namely against France and Romania.
Bilino Polje Stadium
Bilino Polje is the home football stadium of NK ?elik from the city of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of two stadiums used by the national team. The capacity of the stadium is 25,000, but some reports state attendance has exceeded 35,000 in the past.
The stadium was built and opened by Dino Dženanovi? in 1972. The stadium is considered a “curse” for foreign national teams due to the fact that the Bosnian national team maintains an impressive win record at the stadium. Since 1995, the Bosnian national team has played 20 international games in Zenica with a record of 11 wins, 5 draws and only 4 losses.
Bosnia never lost a single game in 2010 World Cup qualification at Bilino Polje stadium until the last match of the group qualifiers when they lost 5–2 to Spain.
In a period stretching from 1995 to October 2006, Bosnia and Herzegovina went undefeated at home in about 10 games played in Zenica. The city of Zenica had to wait another 5 years (1995–2000) before the next match of the national team was played at the stadium. This match was also a friendly against Macedonia, with the final result being a victory for the home side 1–0. The national team never lost on this field until the Euro 2008 qualifier against Hungary on September 6, 2006 during this time period.