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Torcida Split is a HNK Hajduk Split supporters' group in Croatia and formerly Yugoslavia. Founded on 28 October 1950, it's supposed by Kruhatin-Ante Listopadac that they are oldest supporters group in Europe. They are one major football fan groups in Croatia and the largest in Southeast Europe. The name "Torcida" is the Brazilian Portuguese word for "supporters". Club fans operate from Zrinsko Frankopanska-17, Split. The slogan of the fans, "Hajduk lives forever", testifies to the long and continuing tradition of Hajduk Split, which has survived without change from its establishment until today. (While states and leagues have failed, "Hajduk lives forever").
Torcida members and other fervent fans of the club gather in the north stand at the stadium of Poljud, from where they fiercely support their club. Torcida member often use flares, smoke flares and other pyrotechnics to heat up the atmosphere on the stadium.
The founding and beginnings
Organized support existed even before the establishment of Torcida Split, since the very beginning of Hajduk in 1911. The first organized trip of the fans was recorded in 1927 against HAŠK in Zagreb, and internationally in 1936 against A.S. Roma in Rome. Torcida was established on 28 October 1950 by group of students: Vjenceslav Žuvela, Ante Dorić, Ante Ivanišević, Šime Perković, Pocrnjić, Tičić, Vlado Mikulić... Before the football match against Red Star Belgrade. The students from Split, who studied in Zagreb, wanted to stage an unprecedented spectacle in order to help their club, following the example of Brazilian fan groups, which at that time became very popular (that year, the updated World Cup was held in Rio de Janeiro). On 29 October, Hajduk won against Red Star with 2-1, with a triumphant goal which was scored by a legendary player of Hajduk, Bozo Broketa, in the 86th minute. In that season, Hajduk won the championship without a single defeat, which has remained an unsurpassed record.
After the game, the Yugoslav Communist Party and government structures, to the personal intervention of Milovan Djilas, began with repressive measures toward Torcida and its members. Defeat of the privileged Red Star team and the circumstances around it were extremely disturbing for the regime in Belgrade. The leadership of Hajduk was sanctioned, Torcida's activities and its name forbidden, and some of the members were detained and proceedings conducted against them. One of the founders, Vjenceslav Žuvela, was expelled from the Communist Party and sentenced to three years in prison. His sentence was later reduced to three months.
Despite the ban highlighting name and organized action, the fans continued to support its great players and team.
The first significant case of fan violence in the stadium dates back to the meeting with "FK Sarajevo" on 1 October 1961. The referee Aleksandar Skoric was attacked after the match because he annulled the equalizing goal for Hajduk player Vidosevic. Skoric was beaten by a vandal from the auditorium. As a consequence Hajduk had to play three home games in Šibenik. Another large-scale incident occurred on 11 September 1966, when the masses of fans, disappointed by the defeat of Hajduk, staged a massive fight in which they demolished a dorm, bleachers and goals. Hajduk was then punished by playing one match in Rijeka.
The glorious years
Torcida continued its activities underground. At the beginning of the 1970s, a small group of fiercest Hajduk's supporters began to continuously gather on the east stand of the Stari Plac to lead the supporting.
During this decade supporters adopted the southern manner of supporting, which is characterized by emphasizing the large number of club flags and banners, with the symbols of the club and a large march through the city before and after important games (popular "carousel"). The fans also adopted some features of the northern manner of supporting, manifested by wearing scarves and expressive patterns of violent behavior, especially toward the rival supporters. In this period the fans began to use scenographies and increased the number of supporters' anthems.
Until the end of the 1970s, the violent behavior of the fans was expressed towards most of the fans of the other clubs. Because of that the fans of the other clubs would not come in larger numbers to support their team in Split. On the other side, Hajduk fans have travelled throughout the former Yugoslavia to support their club.
The 1970s was a successful decade for Hajduk Split, with a string of great results (won four championships and five cups). Such exceptional success was followed by hosting the Mediterranean Games in Split 1979 as a part of which a new city stadium Poljud was built. It soon became the new home of Hajduk.
Renewal of activities
The name "Torcida" returned to public use in 1980, when the new generation of fans of Hajduk wanted, by old name and tradition, to celebrate and support the club. Since then, the fans began to assemble in the north stand of the new stadium in Poljud. After Torcida's renewal, in the late 1980s the supporters group of the other three big clubs in Yugoslavia – NK Dinamo Zagreb, FK Partizan, and Red Star were founded, but also those of smaller clubs.
The incidents of fans in the north stands became more common with unwanted consequences. So before the game, "Hajduk" - "Tottenham", held in Split in April 1984, one fan in the center of the pitch slaughtered a rooster, because the symbol of the club in London is a rooster. This led to a UEFA ban on playing international matches in Split.
The organized group of Torcida started to spread beyond the city. In the stadium, banners of Hajduk fans, from the surrounding towns, began to appear. It later expanded to much of Dalmatia.
Croatian independence and the Division
During the war many Torcida members together with their counterparts from other fan groups stood at the forefront of fronts to defend their homeland. A memorial plaque, on the north side of the stadium at Poljud, bears the names of 27 members of Torcida killed in the fight for Croatian independence.
In addition to numerous subgroups organized by Torcida Split neighborhoods (Špinut, Brda, Mertojak, Radunica, etc.), numerous subsidiaries of Torcida organized in the country. They included: Sisak, Zagreb, Makarska, Zadar, Šibenik, Dubrovnik, Trogir, Vukovar, Vinkovci, etc. In Europe, subsidiaries of Torcida included: Düsseldorf, Munich, Stuttgart, Rotterdam, Zürich, Mostar, Ljubljana, etc.
- Torcida Rotterdam are numbers of Fanatic Feyenoord Rotterdam supporters who frequently attend the infamous Vak S side. Apart from the Croatian diaspora living in Rotterdam, this group also consists of men of Dutch origin who sympathise with Hajduk. Torcida Rotterdam attends all Feyenoord games and European Hajduk games.
Statutes KN Torcida
Statutes of the Club passed on 10 January 1998. The Assembly of the fan club Hajduk Split - Torcida Split.
General provisions, activities and membership
By these statutes were enacted provisions of the name and headquarters of the club (Article 2), coat of arms (Article 4), and the Club represented by its President and Secretary (Article 6). Among the activities of the club are set out, inter alia, promotion of organized supporting at the games HNK Hajduk, organizing trips to matches HNK Hajduk Split out, the fight against fan violence at stadiums and organized gathering of members (Article 8). Membership is available to all interested parties (Article 10) with payment of fees (Article 13).
The governing bodies of the club are: the Assembly, the Presidency, the Supervisory Board and Disciplinary Commission (Article 17).
- The Assembly is the highest governing body of the club, which consists of all members of the Club (Article 18). It can be regular, elective and extraordinary and will meet once during the year, with the Assembly meeting, held every four years. Sessions of the Assembly shall be convened by the Presidency of the Club (Article 19), and chaired by her club president (Article 20).
Executive functions are performed for the Presidency of the Club (Article 23), which consists of nine members, in a meeting convened by the president (Article 24).
The Presidency, inter alia, elected and appointed by the secretary and treasurer of the Club, shall be convened by the Assembly. It establishes the proposed program activities and plans, manages the assets of the Club and shall report on the work of the Assembly Caucus (Article 25).
The Supervisory Board monitors the Club and supervises the work of bodies established by statute, and on its work to inform the Assembly. The supervisory board supervises the special material and financial operations of the Club (Article 28). It consists of three members, with decision by majority vote (Article 29).
The President, who has the function of Assembly chairman and president, is elected by the Assembly for a term of four years. The President, among other things, represents the Club, the discussion on certain issues, cares about the public awareness work of the Club, the Assembly and its bodies and manages the Assembly and the Presidency. In case of absence is replaced by the club secretary (Article 30).
The Club secretary is elected and appointed by the Presidency for a term of four years to conduct professional and administrative duties at the club. He maintains the Register of Members, in the absence of the President, represents the Club and takes care of organizing the departure of members at HNK Hajduk Split away football games (Article 31).
The disciplinary committee has three members from the presidency of the club. They carry out disciplinary proceedings and report to the Presidency and the Assembly of the club (Article 32).
The assets are governed by and property of the Club and its acquisitions. The Club acquired the property from membership fees, voluntary contributions and donations, grants, sponsorships, and other sources in accordance with the law (Article 35).
They are in very good terms with another ultra group from Dalmatia, Tornado Zadar. They are in good terms with the biggest ultra group of Portuguese club Benfica, No Name Boys (NN). It started during the Croatian war, when NN showed a message "Freedom for Croatia", and some time later, Benfica played in Croatia against Hajduk and in a bus accident, 3 members of NN lost their lives (including the leader of NN, Gullit). Then, in the return leg of the game, Torcida brought flowers to Benfica's stadium, in memory of those 3 members of NN. So it started a friendship between the two ultra groups. Furthermore, they shown their support to A.S. Saint-Etienne fans with a banner "Courage Magic Fans", after the French ultras saw their kop closed.
- "TORCIDA SPLIT 1950 | Fans Sportal", Fans-Sportal.com, 31 October 2011, webpage: FS31.