Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team

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Bosnia and Herzegovina
Shirt badge/Association crest
Nickname(s) Zmajevi (Dragons)
Zlatni Ljiljani (Golden Lilies)
Association Nogometni/Fudbalski Savez Bosne i Hercegovine (N/FSBiH)
Confederation UEFA (Europe)
Head coach Safet Sušić
Asst coach Borče Sredojević
Elvir Baljić
Captain Emir Spahić
Most caps Zvjezdan Misimović (79)
Top scorer Edin Džeko (33)
Home stadium Bilino Polje, Zenica
FIFA code BIH
FIFA ranking 25
Highest FIFA ranking 13 (August 2013)
Lowest FIFA ranking 173 (September 1996)
Elo ranking 24
Highest Elo ranking 21 (7 June 2013)
Lowest Elo ranking 87 (5 October 1999)
First colours
Second colours
First international
non-FIFA International
 Iran 1–3 [1] Rep. Bosnia-Herz. Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Tehran, Iran; 6 June 1993)
FIFA International
 Albania 2–0 Rep. Bosnia-Herz. Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Tirana, Albania; 30 November 1995)
Biggest win
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnia-Herz. 7–0 Estonia 
(Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina; 10 September 2008)
 Liechtenstein 1–8 Bosnia-Herz. Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Vaduz, Liechtenstein; 7 September 2012)
Biggest defeat
 Argentina 5–0 Bosnia-Herz. Bosnia and Herzegovina
(Córdoba, Argentina; 14 May 1998)
World Cup
Appearances 1 (First in 2014)
Best result None

The Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team (Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian: Nogometna/Fudbalska reprezentacija Bosne i Hercegovine; Cyrillic script: Ногометна/Фудбалска репрезентација Боснe и Херцеговинe) represents Bosnia and Herzegovina (Listeni/ˈbɒzniə ænd hɛrtsəɡˈvnə/) in international association football.

The Team is governed by the Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (N/FSBiH). Until 1992, Bosnian-Herzegovinian players were part of the SFR Yugoslavia national football team.

Bosnia and Herzegovina qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, their first major tournament as an independent nation, after winning their qualifying group ahead of Greece.[2][3] Bosnia-Herz. national team is yet to qualify for a European Championship. Before this success, the national team came close to qualifying for major tournaments on a few occasions. The team lost to Portugal in play-offs for both 2010 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2012.[4][5][6][7] The national side has also been in a situation during qualifiers for both UEFA Euro 2004 and UEFA Euro 2012 needing a victory in the final game to progress directly to the final tournament.[8][9] During World Cup 2006 qualifying, the team needed a victory in the final match to book a playoff berth, at its opponents expense.[10]

Bosnia's home ground is Bilino Polje Stadium in the city of Zenica. The national team's first international victory as a FIFA member came against 1994 FIFA World Cup runners-up Italy on 6 November 1996.[11][12][13] The national team's highest FIFA World Ranking was 13th in August 2013.[14][15] October 2013 FIFA World Rankings, used to seed qualified teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw, placed Bosnia and Herzegovina as the highest ranked team of all former Yugoslav republics for the first time in history.

History[edit]

Pre-independence (1905–1992)[edit]

The game reached Bosnia and Herzegovina at the start of the 20th century, with Mostar the first city to embrace it in 1905. Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica and Bihać were next along with numerous smaller towns as the sport spread. The country was under Austro-Hungarian rule when official competition began in 1908, though these activities were on a small scale within each territory.[16][17] At the outbreak of World War I, there were four clubs in Sarajevo and approximately 20 outside the capital. The creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia post 1918 brought an increase in the number of leagues, and soon a domestic national championship was organised featuring two teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1920, the direct predecessor of the football federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded as the Sarajevo football subassociation. The unified championship ran until 1939/40.

The Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded after the Second World War, being affiliated to the Yugoslav Football Association.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's best sides played in the Yugoslavian first, second and third divisions with moderate success, while its best players with the likes of Vahid Halilhodžić, Safet Sušić, Josip Katalinski, Faruk Hadžibegić, Ivica Osim, Asim Ferhatović, Blaž Slišković, Mehmed Baždarević, Dušan Bajević and many others were chosen to represent SFR Yugoslavia national football team.[18]

Early years[edit]

Shortly after Bosnia and Herzegovina's independence from Yugoslavia, at the outbreak of Bosnian War, a selection of Bosnia and Herzegovina players under the name "Bosnia-Herzegovina Humanitarian Stars" took part in humanitarian friendly matches away from home versus K.R.C. Genk and 1. FC Kaiserslautern during March 1993.[19] Blaž Slišković was the captain of this Bosnia and Herzegovina national side.[20][21] A few months later, Bosnia and Herzegovina football team played their first match against another national team, and it took place in Tehran against Iran. Bosnia and Herzegovina won 3–1.[22] However the result was never registered as Bosnia and Herzegovina was not yet a member of FIFA.

During the same period, on 22 July 1995, Bosnia and Herzegovina national team played another humanitarian match against Fortuna Düsseldorf, largely thanks to Aleksandar Ristić (Düsseldorf coach at the time) and Enver Marić (Düsseldorf goalkeeper coach) who were the most responsible for bringing the team to Germany at the time.[23] Haris Škoro scored a brace for Bosnia at the game which finished 2–2.[24]

The team's first FIFA recognized friendly match, coming just nine days after the Dayton Peace Agreement brought an end to the Bosnian War, was played in Tirana against Albania on 30 November 1995. Then still a Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (as Dayton Agreement was formally signed on 14 December 1995 starting modern-day state of Bosnia and Herzegovina), the team was granted provisional FIFA membership to play this football game which Bosnia lost 2–0. The team played in the shirts bought in neighbouring country's sports shops hours before the flight.[25] The starting eleven playing under head coach Fuad Muzurović at that friendly contest were: Ismir Pintol, Vedin Musić, Ibrahim Duro, Muhamed Konjić, Senad Begić, Nedžad Fazlagić, Esmir Džafić, Enes Demirović, Husref Musemić, Asim Hrnjić, and Almir Turković.

Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team was not eligible to take part in FIFA World Cup 1994 qualifiers as the country only became a member of FIFA in July 1996.[16] UEFA affiliation came in 1998 in Dublin and again the country missed out on taking part in UEFA Euro 1996 qualifiers.[16] In doing so Bosnia and Herzegovina became the only nation in the world in the modern times to first become a member of the World football organisation FIFA followed by becoming member of its continental organisation, UEFA.[26]

Bosnia and Herzegovina's first qualifying attempt for any major tournament saw them grouped with Greece, Denmark, and two former Yugoslav republics Croatia and Slovenia during qualifiers for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. On 1 September 1996, captained by Mehmed Baždarević, Bosnia and Herzegovina made their UEFA debut going down 3–0 versus Greece in their first ever official major tournament qualifying match.[27] Bosnia and Herzegovina finished the group in fourth position, having beaten Slovenia both home and away as well as beating Denmark 3–0 at home. The Bosnia and Herzegovina home game against Croatia was played at Stadio Renato Dall'Ara in Bologna due to high tensions between the two countries at the time. Fuad Muzurović led the team at its first qualifying campaign.

Mišo Smajlović’s Bosnia and Herzegovina side only managed to win 3 games from 10 played in the UEFA Euro 2000 qualifying campaign. The results were two losses against the Czech Republic, two losses against Scotland, a win and a draw against the Faroe Islands and Estonia respectively and a win and a loss against Lithuania. The team finished in third place level on points with Lithuania and Estonia but with a better head-to-head record.

On 25 April 2000, Bosnia and Herzegovina played a humanitarian game for the Bosnian orphans against FIFA's World Stars XI in front of 25,000 people at the Koševo Stadium in Sarajevo.[28] The game finished 0–1 in favour of the Stars through a Roberto Baggio penalty. Dunga and Ali Daei also made appearances for the World XI.

In the World Cup 2002 qualifying round, the Bosnians continued the bad form and finished in fourth place, behind Spain, Austria and Israel having only beaten Liechtenstein both home and away. After this campaign Blaž Slišković was named to replace coach Mišo Smajlović.

First signs of success under Slišković[edit]

Euro 2004 qualification near miss[edit]

In the qualifying campaign for Euro 2004, only one goal in the last home game against Denmark separated the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team from qualifying directly to the finals in Portugal.[29] The team ended the qualifiers in fourth position, one point behind the second place playoff round spot, and two points away from first position, and with the equal amount of won games as the top three teams. Denmark won the group, although Bosnia and Herzegovina took 4 points from them in two head to head matches.

The qualifying campaign for Euro 2004 did not start brightly as Blaž Slišković’s men lost a home game against Romania who scored all three goals of the game in the first thirty minutes, which followed with a loss to Norway in Oslo to mark the end of qualifiers in 2002 for Bosnia and Herzegovina. In March the following year team beat Luxembourg and came out with a 2–0 win versus Denmark in Copenhagen. Romania however proved too strong once again for the Bosnians scoring once in each half to prevail in Craiova.

In September 2003 Bosnia and Herzegovina, thanks to Zlatan Bajramović's 87th minute strike, beat Norwegians in Zenica. This followed with a reverse victory in Luxembourg with Sergej Barbarez scoring the only goal of the game in first half. Bosnia climbed to third on the table with 12 points, two points short of both Romania and Denmark. At this point Romania completed their qualifying campaign and awaited results from the final round of matches. Norwegians were placed fourth, but had a home game against Luxembourg in the last round.

This meant that Bosnia with a victory over Denmark in the last round in Sarajevo could top the group and qualify directly for Euro 2004 in Portugal. Any other result meant finishing fourth as Norway were favourites against Luxembourg. Denmark on the other side needed a draw to come through as group winners.

In the final match, the Bosnian team fell behind to a Martin Jørgensen's 12th minute goal. In reply, Emir Spahić’s long pass was met by Hasan Salihamidžić who crossed the ball into the penalty area from the right side, with Elvir Bolić promptly heading in the equaliser in the 39th minute ensuring it was all to play for in the second half. However, both teams could not score again as it finished a heartbreaking 1–1 home draw for the Bosnians, who although played the game to win the group, had to settle for a fourth place finish instead. Denmark themselves finished with 10 men after Thomas Gravesen was sent off for his second bookable offence seconds before the end of match.[29]

Bosnia undefeated by Spain, finish third[edit]

In the World Cup 2006 qualifying round, the Bosnians played Spain, drawing twice, Belgium (one win, one loss), and Serbia and Montenegro (one draw, one loss), but spilled crucial points at home against Lithuania playing only 1–1 (having won away). Also in the group were San Marino who lost all ten of their games (with a goal difference of −38). Against Serbia and Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina drew at home but lost the second leg in Belgrade with a score 1–0. Bosnia and Herzegovina was hoping to finish in at least second position with an away win over their neighbours and hoping Spain to lose. Against Spain Bosnia led 1–0 for most of the match thanks to Zvjezdan Misimović's goal in the 39th minute but the game ended in draw when Carlos Marchena of Spain scored to level the game in the 96th minute at the Estadio Mestalla in Valencia, and after Bosnia had two players sent off. The match finished 1–1.[30]

Bosnia and Herzegovina finished third, and undefeated at home, in their World Cup 2006 qualifying group four points behind second placed Spain and four points in front of fourth placed Belgium.

Drawn in a relatively easy group, Bosnia and Herzegovina's 2008 UEFA European Football Championship qualifying campaign began with a 5–2 victory over Malta away. However, losses to Hungary and Greece at home, and a draw with Moldova in Chisinau led to Fuad Muzurović appointed as interim coach following the departure of Blaž Slišković. In addition to this change, 13 first team players refused to play for the national team calling for four key Bosnian Football Association officials at the time – Milan Jelić, Iljo Dominković, Sulejman Čolaković, and Ahmet Pašalić – to resign.[31]

New young players like Senijad Ibričić, Boris Pandža, Edin Džeko, Vedad Ibišević and Sejad Salihović, who played in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 play-offs vs Czech Republic, commenced their senior careers at this point as a result of the recent changes within the squad.

Soon after Bosnia beat Norway 2–1 in Oslo. In August 2007, the national team played a friendly match in Sarajevo against Croatia. losing 3–5, with Zlatan Muslimović scoring a hat trick for Bosnia.

After the game against Norway, Bosnia and Herzegovina continued with two further wins at home, a 3–2 victory against Turkey and a marginal victory against Malta. Edin Džeko and Elvir Rahimić made debut appearances for the Bosnia and Herzegovina against Turkey in Sarajevo. After these two games, two defeats at home to Hungary and Moldova followed. Bosnia and Herzegovina then suffered further defeats against Greece, Norway and Turkey, finishing their qualifiers in the fourth position. Following yet another failed campaign Meho Kodro was named as a replacement coach for Fuad Muzurović, however Meho Kodro was quickly dismissed after only a few months in charge.[32]

Blažević leads team to World Cup 2010 play-offs[edit]

Edin Džeko is a leading goalscorer of Bosnia and Herz. national team.

Bosnia and Herzegovina football federation announced Miroslav Blažević as the new manager for the World Cup 2010 qualifiers. In October 2009, the team qualified for the UEFA Second round in the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualification finishing second with a game to spare in a group won by then European champions Spain.[4] Edin Džeko was the top scorer of the group, and achieved equal second place overall in the Europe section with 9 goals, having just been overtaken by Theofanis Gekas for the first place, who scored 4 goals against Latvia in their second last game of the qualifiers. Bosnia and Herzegovina played Portugal losing both games by single goal. Along the standard qualification process the team beat Belgium, Estonia and Armenia at both home and away, and drew one game with Turkey.

2010 FIFA World Cup qualification – UEFA Second Round play-offs:

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Bosnia and Herzegovina  0–2  Portugal 0–1 0–1

Sušić leads team to Euro 2012 play-offs[edit]

Zvjezdan Misimović is the most capped player in the history of Bosnia and Herz. national team.

The national team coached by Safet Sušić reached their second consecutive play-off berth during qualification for the UEFA Euro 2012 as they were unable to beat France national football team in Paris to qualify directly. The Bosnians had to win the game to top Group D and qualify for the tournament. Edin Džeko scored and they led 0–1 until the 77th minute when Scottish referee Craig Thomson awarded a penalty to France. The French leveled the game which meant that Bosnia and Herzegovina finished second, one point behind France.

Bosnia and Herzegovina was drawn to play Portugal, who were the 8th ranked team in the world at the time, for the second play-off in a row.[5][33] After a scoreless first leg, qualification would be decided in Portugal. Cristiano Ronaldo (two goals) and Nani both scored as Portugal went on to record a 6–2 win. Bosnia and Herzegovina went 2–0 down after 25 minutes. Zvjezdan Misimović scored in the 41st minute to reduce the score to 2–1 from a penalty kick before Cristiano Ronaldo again restored a two goal advantage after the interval. At this point, Bosnia and Herzegovina were reduced to ten men as Senad Lulić received two yellow cards in less than a minute; In the 65th minute, Bosnian captain Emir Spahić, reduced the deficit to one goal once again knowing that a score draw was all that was required for Bosnia and Herzegovina to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012. However, Bosnia lost 6–2 on the day, and on aggregate.[34][35]

UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying play-offs:

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Bosnia and Herzegovina  2–6  Portugal 0–0 2–6

World Cup 2014 under Safet Sušić[edit]

Qualification[edit]

Vedad Ibišević sent Bosnia-Herz. to their first ever World Cup with a winning goal against Lithuania.

One of the smallest countries in Europe with a population of less than four million had secured a place at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[25] It is only the second time in history of the World Cup, and first since England in 1950 FIFA World Cup (also held in Brazil), that only one national team made a debut in a World Cup tournament.

During the qualifying stage, Bosnia and Herzegovina were drawn to face Greece, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia and Liechtenstein in Group G. The Bosnia and Herzegovina national side started the qualifiers with a 1–8 away victory over minnows Liechtenstein, recording the equal largest victory for the side to date. This was followed with a 4–1 win against Latvia at home in Zenica. Bosnia-Herzegovina concluded their qualifiers in 2012 undefeated and placed at the top of Group G on goal difference ahead of Greece, doing so for the first time in their history, having come away with a 0–0 draw in Piraeus, Greece, and winning 3–0 at home over Lithuania in Zenica during the October qualifiers.[36]

Due to an injury Miralem Pjanić missed out on a crucial qualifier match against Greece on 22 March 2013. Bosnia still managed to win against the Greeks 3–1 with Edin Džeko scoring twice.[37] This followed with a 5–0 win against Latvia in Riga. A shock 0–1 loss to Slovakia in September 2013 at home in Zenica was the first loss for Bosnia in the qualifiers allowing Greece to come level on points, as they won away in Liechtenstein, mounting pressure on Bosnians to avoid the third consecutive play-offs for a finals tournament. Slovakia were hoping for six points from two games against Bosnians to come within a point of their opponent on the table. However, Bosnia managed to reverse the result winning 1–2 in Žilina four days later enabling the team to maintain top spot on goal difference from Greece (who also won) and just about eliminate the Slovaks from the competition. Both goals for Bosnia were scored by players new to the national side, Ermin Bičakčić (third cap, first goal) and Izet Hajrović (second cap, first goal).

Bosnia and Herzegovina, under manager Safet Sušić, qualified for the World Cup for the first time in their history following a home victory over Liechtenstein and a 1–0 away victory against Lithuania in Kaunas on 15 October 2013.[38] The national team finished level on 25 points with Greece at the top of Group G, but their superior goal difference earned the top spot and an automatic place in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[39] In addition, throughout the qualifiers Bosnia were the only team in the group as well as UEFA qualifiers as a whole not to have any of its players suspended due to disciplinary reason for a single game. Edin Dzeko was a second top scorer of the European qualifiers behind Robin van Persie with ten goals.

2014 FIFA World Cup qualification UEFA Group G standings
Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 8 1 1 30 6 +24 25
 Greece 10 8 1 1 12 4 +8 25
 Slovakia 10 3 4 3 11 10 +1 13
 Lithuania 10 3 2 5 9 11 −2 11
 Latvia 10 2 2 6 10 20 −10 8
 Liechtenstein 10 0 2 8 4 25 −21 2
  Bosnia and Herzegovina Greece Latvia Liechtenstein Lithuania Slovakia
Bosnia and Herzegovina  3–1 4–1 4–1 3–0 0–1
Greece  0–0 1–0 2–0 2–0 1–0
Latvia  0–5 1–2 2–0 2–1 2–2
Liechtenstein  1–8 0–1 1–1 0–2 1–1
Lithuania  0–1 0–1 2–0 2–0 1–1
Slovakia  1–2 0–1 2–1 2–0 1–1
  Team qualified as group winner
  Team qualified through play-offs

Group Stage[edit]

Bosnia-Herzegovina national football team's first ever historic World Cup match will be against Argentina (topped CONMEBOL qualifying group), to be played at the famous Estádio do Maracanã in Rio de Janeiro. Also in the group are Iran (topped AFC qualifying group), and Nigeria, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions and 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup participants.

The top two ranked teams at the end of the group phase advance to the second round.

Team Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
 Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Iran 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Nigeria 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
15 June 2014
19:00
Argentina  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

21 June 2014
19:00
Nigeria  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

25 June 2014
13:00
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Iran

UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifiers[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina found themselves in qualifying pot 1 for the first time in their history, drawing fellow 2014 FIFA World Cup participants Belgium in their group along with Israel, Wales, Cyprus and Andorra.

Team
Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Belgium 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Israel 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Cyprus 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
 Andorra 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
  Andorra Belgium Bosnia and Herzegovina Cyprus Israel Wales
Andorra  10 Oct '15 28 Mar '15 12 Jun '15 13 Oct '14 9 Sep '14
Belgium  10 Oct '14 3 Sep '15 28 Mar '15 13 Oct '15 16 Nov '14
Bosnia and Herzegovina  6 Sep '15 13 Oct '14 9 Sep '14 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '15
Cyprus  16 Nov '14 6 Sep '15 13 Oct '15 10 Oct '14 3 Sep '15
Israel  3 Sep '15 9 Sep '14 16 Nov '14 10 Oct '15 28 Mar '15
Wales  13 Oct '15 12 Jun '15 10 Oct '14 13 Oct '14 6 Sep '15


9 September 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Cyprus

10 October 2014
Wales  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

13 October 2014
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Belgium

16 November 2014
Israel  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

22 March 2015
Andorra  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

12 June 2015
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Israel

3 September 2015
Belgium  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

6 September 2015
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Andorra

10 October 2015
Bosnia and Herzegovina  v  Wales

13 October 2015
Cyprus  v  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Team image[edit]

Nickname[edit]

A popular nickname of all Bosnian sport players is the Zmajevi or Dragons in English.[40] In foreign media, sometimes they are referred to as the Golden Lilies, reference to Fleur-de-lis.[41]

Historical kits[edit]

The team kit is currently produced by an Germany sports apparel company Adidas. Also sponsoring the team are BH Telecom, a telecommunication company from Sarajevo.[42][43]

Period from 1996 to 2006 (H)
Period from 1996 to 2006 (A)

The table below shows the history of kit manufacturers for the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Period Kit Provider
1996–1999 Belgium Patrick[44]
1999–2000 Germany adidas[44]
2000–2005 Germany Reusch[44]
2005–2014 Italy Legea[44]
2014– Germany adidas[45]

Supporters[edit]

Bosnian fans supporting the national team.[46]

Large number of national team's supporters come from Northern and Western Europe, North America, and some as far away as Australia.[47] Most of these fans are members of BHFanaticos, Belaj Boys, BHLegion, Armija Zmajeva (Dragons Army) and Ljuti Krajišnici groups.[48][49][50]

In the game Norway v Bosnia and Herzegovina, at the Ullevål Stadium in Oslo on 24 March 2007, Bosnian fans caused an hour long delay due to an unprecedented amount of flares that had been thrown onto the pitch in protest against corruption in the (now former) Football Federation of Bosnia.[51] On 1 June 2008, former Bosnia and Herzegovina players Meho Kodro and Elvir Bolić organised a friendly humanitarian game in Sarajevo called "Kodro, Bola and Friends" between former Bosnian football legends, in order to gain support, to say its time for changes in the Bosnian Football Association.[52] The game was organised to commence at the same time as Bosnia and Herzegovina national side faced Azerbaijan in a friendly in Zenica. The attendance in Sarajevo was 15,000 while in Zenica only about 50.[53] The game in Sarajevo was organised by the Federal TV who broadcast the humanitarian game live. A significant number of Bosnian International players were involved in the game,[54] which ended 11–9 in favour of Team Kodro.[55]

Before every game, during playing of Bosnian national anthem, BH Fanaticos sing lyrics from the old national anthem Jedna si jedina as current national anthem does not have lyrics in all international sports Bosnia is part of (mainly football, basketball and handball).[56][57]

Tragic deaths[edit]

The football victory over Lithuania on 15 October 2013 and subsequent successful qualification to the World Cup in Brazil, were largely overshadowed for the small Balkan country, by the tragic deaths of three young Bosnian supporters in the early hours of the following morning upon their return home from the match in Kaunas. They died at ten past six due to an accident when the car they were traveling in (Renault Megane) collided with a truck in Łomża a town in north-eastern Poland, 150 km distance from Warsaw. The leader of the Bosnian sport fan group Ljuti Krajišnici Hasib Mahmić (from Cazin) as well as Vildan Pehlić and Almir Kasumović (both from Velika Kladuša), were killed. Adi Ćoralić, who was the fourth person in the car, survived the crash.[58]

A day before his tragic death, Hasib Mahmić gave a video statement for SportSport.ba (Bosnian online sports paper) saying "It is very important that everyone returns home alive and well after the game and that there are no car accidents".[59]

A funeral was held shortly following the incident, where fourteen thousand[60] people came to mourn the death of the men including the current Bosnia national football team captain Emir Spahić as well as current president of Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Elvedin Begić.[61] Nizar Al-Tinawi, leader of BHFanaticos support group paid his respect saying "Big tragedy has happened, they were our friends with whom together we cheered on the teams, and for me personally it hit me hard as just half an hour before the accident I traveled by the exact same path. There was thick fog, visibility was next to 0 and there have been many trucks traveling these unsafe roads".[62] Prime Minister of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina Nermin Nikšić has also attended the funeral.

On 18 November 2013 during Bosnia's friendly match vs Argentina in St. Louis; Busch Stadium, the teams observed one minute silence before the kick-off in memory of three Bosnian fans that died.[63]

This is second fatal football related incident in Bosnia & Herzegovina history (post Bosnian War), after 2009 infamous Široki Brijeg football riots between supports of Bosnian Premier League club sides NK Široki Brijeg and FK Sarajevo clashed leaving Horde Zla supporter Vedran Puljić (from Sarajevo) dead from a gunshot wound.[64]

Home stadiums[edit]

The Bosnia and Herzegovina national team uses a small-capacity center called "Kulturno Sportski Centar Famos Hrasnica" located in Hrasnica, a suburb of capital city Sarajevo for light training sessions ahead of international matches. A modern training camp for the national football team is being built in Crkvice neighborhood in Zenica which is expected to be finished sometime in late 2012 or early 2013.[dated info]

Asim Ferhatović Hase Stadium is a stadium owned by the city of Sarajevo. It is also known as Koševo Stadium and formerly Olympic Stadium. The capacity is 34,630. Koševo Stadium is located in the Koševo neighborhood of Sarajevo and it is used mostly by FK Sarajevo. The stadium was opened in 1947. In 1984, it was reconstructed for the 1984 Winter Olympics, and is therefore often called Olympic Stadium. Now, it is officially called "Asim Ferhatović – Hase" since July 2004, after Asim Ferhatović, the FK Sarajevo player who retired in 1967.

Attendance for concerts at the stadium can be 80,000 places, such as for U2's PopMart Tour in 1997 and Dino Merlin's Burek tour in 2004. It is the secondary home stadium of the national football side of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Bilino Polje is the home football stadium of NK Čelik from the city of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of two main stadiums of the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The stadium was built and opened in 1972. It was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina's first match, a friendly played against Albania in 1995 with the final result being a 0–0 draw. The stadium is considered a "curse" for foreign national teams, because the Bosnian national team usually wins or rarely loses their home games at Bilino Polje stadium. In a period stretching from 1995 to October 2006, Bosnia went undefeated at home in around 15 games played in Zenica. The city of Zenica had to wait another five years (1995–2000) before the next match of the national team was played at the stadium. This match was also a friendly, this time against Macedonia, with the final result being a victory for the home side 1–0. The Bosnian national team never lost on this field until the Euro 2008 qualifier against Hungary. During 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Bosnia and Herzegovina national team played all their First round home matches at this stadium, losing only once, to current European and soon to be World Champion; Spain.

On 10 August 2012, the Bosnian Federation and the local government of City of Zenica financed the replacement of the old grass surface at the Bilino Polje Stadium after numerous complaints from visiting teams about its quality.[65][66][67][68][69][70]

Coaching staff[edit]

On 28 December 2009, Sušić was named coach of the Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team.[71] His debut was a friendly match against Ghana in Sarajevo. Bosnia and Herzegovina won the game 2–1 after goals from Vedad Ibišević and Miralem Pjanić.

After only 2 wins in Sušić's 6 first matches in charge of the national team, including 2–0 loss to France in the qualification for Euro 2012, Sušić came under a lot of criticism from several journalists and columnists who called for him to resign.[72] However, better results followed and during 2011, Sušić's Bosnia national football side recorded a 7 game unbeaten run (beating Albania, Belarus twice, Luxembourg and recording three draws against Greece, France and Portugal), conceding one goal in the process, which led to FIFA rank of 19th in the world in January to February 2012.[73] Bosnia-Herzegovina failed to qualify for UEFA Euro 2012 losing the reverse play-off game and hence the tie to Portugal national football team for the finals tournament.[74]

Safet Sušić has remained Bosnia's manager through the qualifiers for FIFA World Cup 2014 and with Bosnia qualifying for the tournament, Sušić will remain in charge of the team in Brazil.[75][76] The side reached FIFA rank of 13 in August 2013 having been undefeated for much of last two years (7 games without a loss and soon after 9 games without a loss) in a row.

Position Name
Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Safet Sušić
Assistant Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Borče Sredojević
Assistant Manager Bosnia and Herzegovina Elvir Baljić
Goalkeeper Coach Bosnia and Herzegovina Tomislav Piplica
Doctor Bosnia and Herzegovina Reuf Karabeg
Kinesiotherapy Bosnia and Herzegovina Radomir Ćosović
Kinesiotherapy Bosnia and Herzegovina Ismar Hadžibajrić
Managing Director Bosnia and Herzegovina Fuad Kečo
Secretary Bosnia and Herzegovina Elmir Pilav

Former managers[edit]

Name First game Last game Played Won Drawn Lost Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential Win % Points per game[77] Position in Qualifiers
Bosnia and Herzegovina Muzurović, FuadFuad Muzurović 30 November 1995. 5 November 1997. 18 7 2 9 21 25 -4 38.88% 1.28 4/5 for WC 1998
Bosnia and Herzegovina Mušović, DžemaludinDžemaludin Mušović 14 May 1998. 27 January 1999. 7 1 2 4 7 16 -9 14.28% 0.71
Bosnia and Herzegovina Hadžibegić, FarukFaruk Hadžibegić 10 March 1999. 9 October 1999. 7 2 2 3 10 10 0 28.57% 1.14 3/6 for EURO 2000
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kalajdžić, AvdoAvdo Kalajdžić (caretaker) 18 August 1999. 18 August 1999. 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0.0% 1.0
Bosnia and Herzegovina Smajlović, MišoMišo Smajlović 24 January 2000. 7 October 2001. 14 5 4 5 20 17 +3 35.71% 1.35 4/5 for WC 2002
Bosnia and Herzegovina Slišković, BlažBlaž Slišković 27 March 2002. 11 October 2006. 37 11 11 15 44 56 -12 29.73% 1.19 4/5 for EURO 2004
3/6 for WC 2006
Bosnia and Herzegovina Muzurović, FuadFuad Muzurović 24 March 2007. 21 November 2007. 9 3 0 6 11 16 -5 33.33% 1 4/7 for EURO 2008
Bosnia and Herzegovina Kodro, MehoMeho Kodro 30 January 2008. 26 March 2008. 2 0 1 1 2 5 -3 0.0% 0.5
Bosnia and Herzegovina Pirić, DenijalDenijal Pirić (caretaker) 1 June 2008. 1 June 2008. 1 1 0 0 1 0 +1 100% 3
Bosnia and Herzegovina Blažević, MiroslavMiroslav Blažević 20 August 2008. 18 November 2009. 17 8 2 7 34 24 +10 47.05% 1.53 2/6 Playoff for WC 2010
Bosnia and Herzegovina Sušić, SafetSafet Sušić 3 March 2010. 5 March 2014. 40 19 7 14 71 49 +22 2/6 Playoff for EURO 2012
1/6 for WC 2014
Totals 167 65 35 67 241 234 +7

Players[edit]

Current squad[edit]

The following players were called up for the international friendly against  Egypt on 5 March 2014.

Caps and goals correct as of: 5 March 2014

0#0 Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club
1 1GK Asmir Begović (1987-06-20) 20 June 1987 (age 26) 28 0 England Stoke City
22 1GK Asmir Avdukić (1981-05-13) 13 May 1981 (age 32) 3 0 Bosnia and Herzegovina Borac Banja Luka
12 1GK Jasmin Fejzić (1986-05-15) 15 May 1986 (age 27) 0 0 Germany Aalen
4 2DF Emir Spahić (captain) (1980-08-18) 18 August 1980 (age 33) 72 3 Germany Bayer Leverkusen
13 2DF Mensur Mujdža (1984-03-28) 28 March 1984 (age 30) 22 0 Germany Freiburg
2 2DF Avdija Vršajević (1986-03-06) 6 March 1986 (age 28) 12 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
6 2DF Ognjen Vranješ (1989-10-24) 24 October 1989 (age 24) 11 0 Turkey Elazığspor
3 2DF Ermin Bičakčić (1990-01-24) 24 January 1990 (age 24) 7 1 Germany Eintracht Braunschweig
21 2DF Ervin Zukanović (1987-02-11) 11 February 1987 (age 27) 6 0 Belgium Gent
23 2DF Toni Šunjić (1988-12-15) 15 December 1988 (age 25) 5 0 Ukraine Zorya Luhansk
5 2DF Sead Kolašinac (1993-06-20) 20 June 1993 (age 20) 2 0 Germany Schalke 04
8 3MF Miralem Pjanić (1990-04-02) 2 April 1990 (age 24) 46 8 Italy Roma
15 3MF Sejad Salihović (1984-10-08) 8 October 1984 (age 29) 40 4 Germany 1899 Hoffenheim
18 3MF Haris Medunjanin (1985-03-08) 8 March 1985 (age 29) 34 5 Turkey Gaziantepspor
16 3MF Senad Lulić (1986-01-18) 18 January 1986 (age 28) 33 1 Italy Lazio
19 3MF Edin Višća (1990-02-17) 17 February 1990 (age 24) 8 0 Turkey İstanbul BB
20 3MF Izet Hajrović (1991-08-04) 4 August 1991 (age 22) 5 1 Turkey Galatasaray
7 3MF Tino-Sven Sušić (1992-02-13) 13 February 1992 (age 22) 1 0 Croatia Hajduk Split
10 3MF Anel Hadžić (1989-08-16) 16 August 1989 (age 24) 1 0 Austria Sturm Graz
11 4FW Edin Džeko (vice-captain) (1986-03-17) 17 March 1986 (age 28) 60 33 England Manchester City
9 4FW Vedad Ibišević (1984-08-06) 6 August 1984 (age 29) 53 20 Germany Stuttgart

Recent call-ups[edit]

The following players have been called up for the team within the last twelve months:

Pos. Player Date of birth (age) Caps Goals Club Latest call-up
MF Zoran Kvržić (1988-08-07) 7 August 1988 (age 25) 3 0 Croatia Rijeka v.  Egypt, 5 March 2014
MF Zvjezdan Misimović (1982-06-05) 5 June 1982 (age 31) 80 25 China Guizhou Renhe v.  Argentina, 18 November 2013
MF Senijad Ibričić (1985-09-26) 26 September 1985 (age 28) 41 4 Turkey Kayseri Erciyesspor v.  Argentina, 18 November 2013
MF Adnan Zahirović (1990-03-23) 23 March 1990 (age 24) 20 0 Germany Bochum v.  Argentina, 18 November 2013

Recent results and forthcoming fixtures[edit]

2013[edit]

Date Competition Venue Home Team Result Away Team Scorers Player Ratings
6 February 2013
Friendly
Ljubljana, Slovenia
 Slovenia
0 – 3
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ibišević Goal 33' Pjanić Goal 41' Svraka Goal 80'
22 March 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 – 1
 Greece
Džeko Goal 29'52' Ibišević Goal 36'
7 June 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Riga, Latvia
 Latvia
0 – 5
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Lulić Goal 48' Ibišević Goal 53'
Medunjanin Goal 63'
Pjanić Goal 80' Džeko Goal 82'
13 August 2013
Friendly
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
3 – 4
 United States
Džeko Goal 8'90' Ibišević Goal 30'
6 September 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
0 – 1
 Slovakia
10 September 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Žilina, Slovakia
 Slovakia
1 – 2
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Bičakčić Goal 70' Hajrović Goal 78'
11 October 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
4 – 1
 Liechtenstein
Džeko Goal 27'39' Misimović Goal 34'
Ibišević Goal 38'
15 October 2013
2014 FIFA World Cup Q
Kaunas, Lithuania
 Lithuania
0 – 1
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ibišević Goal 68'
18 November 2013
Friendly
St. Louis, United States
 Argentina
2 – 0
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
[78]

2014[edit]

Date Competition Venue Home Team Result Away Team Scorers Player Ratings
5 March 2014
Friendly
Tivoli-Neu, Innsbruck
 Bosnia and Herzegovina
0 – 2
 Egypt
[79]
15 May 2014
Friendly
Sarajevo
 Bosnia and Herzegovina NK Zvijezda Gradačac
30 May 2014
2014 Road to Brazil
Friendly
Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Ivory Coast
3 June 2014
Friendly
Soldier Field, Chicago
 Mexico  Bosnia and Herzegovina
8 June 2014
Friendly
N/A
Santos  Bosnia and Herzegovina
15 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Maracanã, Rio de Janeiro
 Argentina  Bosnia and Herzegovina
21 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Arena Pantanal, Cuiabá,
 Nigeria  Bosnia and Herzegovina
25 June 2014
2014 FIFA World Cup
Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Iran
9 September 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Cyprus
10 October 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Millennium Stadium, Cardiff
 Wales  Bosnia and Herzegovina
13 October 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Bilino Polje, Zenica
 Bosnia and Herzegovina  Belgium
16 November 2014
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
Ramat Gan Stadium, Ramat Gan
 Israel  Bosnia and Herzegovina

Records and statistics[edit]

Misimović has scored 25 goals as of last international match day. On the Bosnian and Herzegovinian football association page it says 26 goals[81] which is incorrect. For the game Bosnia vs Turkey during qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2008, the website shows (see ref link[82] at date 02.06.2007) that Misimović scored a goal, but in fact it was his team mate Muslimović who scored, as Misimović was not a scorer in that game.[83] He has also played one extra game due to a duplication error on the website of the same match. In addition, Misimović did not score a goal versus Lithuania on 30 March 2005, rather it was his team mate Elvir Bolić with Shirt Number 7.[84] This note should remain active until Nogometni/Fudbalski Savez Bosne i Hercegovine (Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina) correct their mistake.

Captains[edit]

This is a list of Bosnia-Herzegovina captains for all official and friendly matches.

Note: The column "Games" signifies overall games as captain, not overall caps. The table shows team captains with 5 or more captain caps to their name. In the past some of the other players to have worn the captains band include: Bruno Akrapović (4) 1999–2003, Mehmed Baždarević (2) 1996, Vlatko Glavaš (1) 1997, Suvad Katana (2) 1998, Edin Džeko (2) 2010, Hasan Salihamidžić (1) 2004, Zlatan Bajramović (1) 2006, Džemal Berberović (1) 2007.

Emir Spahić will become the first captain to lead Bosnia-Herz. national side at the World Cup.

The below table as yet does not include ANY minor tournaments data.
Table correct as of 5 March 2014.

Player Period Games Captain in Major Tournaments
Muhamed Konjić 1995–2002 20
Meho Kodro 1997–1998 5
Elvir Bolić 1999–2000 6
Mirsad Hibić 2001–2003 14
Sergej Barbarez 2004–2006 20
Zvjezdan Misimović 2007–2012 16
Emir Spahić 2009– 50 Brazil 2014 *To be played

Competitive record[edit]

FIFA World Cup[edit]

Main article: Bosnia and Herzegovina at the FIFA World Cup

After Bosnia and Herzegovina gained independence from Yugoslavia on 1 March 1992, the national football team was soon formed but could not enter qualifying for 1994 FIFA World Cup as the national association was not yet a member of FIFA. During qualifiers for 1998 FIFA World Cup, Bosnia's first home match against Croatia was played at Bologna.[85] The match was held at the neutral venue due to tensions between the two nations at the time. The team finished in third place during 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying, recording two draws with Spain along the way. During qualifiers for 2010 FIFA World Cup Bosnia reached first ever playoffs for a major tournament, eventually losing to Portugal 2–0 on aggregate. 2014 FIFA World Cup will be the first time Bosnia will appear at a major tournament as an independent nation, having qualified as winners of UEFA Group G.

FIFA World Cup record FIFA World Cup Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Squad Pld W D L GF GA Position
1930 to 1990 Competed as part of Yugoslavia - - - - - - -
United States 1994 Could not enter - - - - - - -
France 1998 Did not qualify 8 3 0 5 9 14 4/5
South KoreaJapan 2002 8 2 2 4 12 12 4/5
Germany 2006 10 4 4 2 12 9 3/6
South Africa 2010 12 6 1 5 25 15 2/6 Lost Playoff
Brazil 2014 Qualified TBD Squad 10 8 1 1 30 6 1/6
Russia 2018 To be determined
Qatar 2022
Total TBD 0/4 48 23 8 17 88 56

World Cup 1994 – Could Not Enter as the national team was not yet a member of FIFA.

European Championship[edit]

UEFA European Championship record UEFA Euro Championship Qualification record
Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA Pld W D L GF GA Position
1960 to 1992 Competed as part of Yugoslavia - - - - - - -
England 1996 Could not enter - - - - - - -
BelgiumNetherlands 2000 Did not qualify 10 3 2 5 14 17 3/6
Portugal 2004 8 4 1 3 7 8 4/5
AustriaSwitzerland 2008 12 4 1 7 16 22 4/7
PolandUkraine 2012 12 6 3 3 19 14 2/6 Lost Playoff
France 2016 To be determined
Total 42 17 7 18 56 61

Euro 1996 – Could Not Enter as the national team was not yet a member of UEFA.

Minor tournaments[edit]

Year Round Position Pld W D L GF GA
Malaysia 1997 Dunhill Cup Malaysia Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 9 5
India 2001 Millennium Soccer Cup Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 7 5
Malaysia 2001 Merdeka Tournament Runners-up 2 5 3 1 1 7 4
Iran 2001 LG Cup Runners-up 2 2 1 0 1 4 6
United States 2011 Green Soccer Bowl The event was cancelled
United States 2014 Road to Brazil Invited
Total - 0 Titles 17 10 3 4 27 20

Husnija Arapović was the caretaker manager of the B team (reserve players) taking part in some of the above minor tournaments.[86]

Head-to-Head records against other countries[edit]

Tables correct as of 5 March 2014. The list also includes first and last games played against an opponent.

The table lists opponents played, sorted by members of FIFA affiliated confederations.

Bosnia-Herzegovina's all-time record sorted by FIFA Confederations, 1995–present

Opponent Games Wins Draws Losses Goals For Goals Against Goal Differential First games Last games
UEFA 128 51 28 49 192 170 +22 30.11.1995 11.10.2013
AFC 23 8 6 9 29 35 −6 22.02.1997 10.08.2010
CAF 6 3 1 2 10 9 +1 05.11.1997 05.03.2014
CONMEBOL 6 2 0 4 5 12 -7 14.05.1998 18.11.2013
CONCACAF 3 0 0 3 4 8 −4 09.02.2011 14.08.2013
OFC 0 0 0 0 0 0 =0 x x
65 Countries 167 65 35 67 241 234 +7 30.11.1995. 05.03.2014.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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