On Flags of Football Clubs at the Conference in Rijeka on 8 September 2023

President of HGZD Željko Heimer and Željko Ševerdija, a member of HGZD from Rijeka, held a presentation on the flags and symbols of football clubs from Croatia that participated in the highest level of national club competitions (i.e. in the premiere league), in Rijeka on September 8, 2023 at conference “Football Day through a legal, historical and diplomatic perspective”.

The meeting took place at the Faculty of Law of the University of Rijeka, in front of numerous guests from the world of football, sports, local and state authorities, clubs and the Croatian Football Association.

The event was supported by the Croatian Football Association and almost all first league teams, as well as UEFA and FIFA, as well as private collectors from Rijeka such as Zvonimir Krpan who allowed the Faculty of Law to use several Croatian historical jerseys.

The gathering marked several important football anniversaries: 150 years since the first football match played in Croatia between engineers and employees of the Torpedo company, 120 years since the first match played at the Kantrida stadium between Viktorija from Sušak and Građanski from Zagreb, 100 years since the first match played at the Krimeja stadium between Orient and Zagreb’s HAŠK and 25 years since the historic bronze medal of the Croatian national team at the World Championship in France.

Introduction by prof. Dr. Željko Bartulović presented the legal-historical context of football in Rijeka and Croatia, citing important events for the development of football in our region, such as the first match, the first ball, the first football club and many other historical anniversaries, after which Assoc. Prof. Željko Heimer and dipl. iur. Željko Ševerdija from the Croatian Society of Heraldry and Flag Studies held an interesting lecture on the subject of flags, coats of arms, and emblems of football clubs in Croatia, during which we learned how Croatian clubs throughout history have changed their visual identities due to historical and political turmoil or their own ideological beliefs. At the very end of the first part, the general secretary of HNS, dipl. iur. Vladimir Iveta explained the model of successor clubs, using different examples of Istria 1961, Marsonia, Varaždin and Gorica, clubs that changed their legal form and identity throughout history.

In the second part of the lecture, associate professor Vanja Smokvina, the spiritus movens of this gathering, from the Faculty of Law in Rijeka, gave a lecture on the topic of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), followed by an analysis of the legal and historical context of the existence of GNK Zagreb and HNK Rijeka, prof. Siniša Petrović and dipl. iur. Petar Ceronjea from the Faculty of Law in Zagreb, associate professor Marinko Lazzarich from the Teachers Faculty in Rijeka.

At the end, a round table was held on the topic of 25 years of bronze in France, which was attended by the former president of HNS Branko Mikša, former executive director of HNS Duško Grabovac and three passionate people – Dario Šimić, Mario Stanić and Goran Vlaović, with the moderation of the sports journalist Robert Matteoni and associate professor Vanja Smokvina.

The day of football in Rijeka ended with a joint live viewing of the Croatian national team’s qualifying match with Latvia at the stadium in Rijeka, which Croatia won with a great score of 5:0.