Hajduk game… You’ll see it all over town, the round badge with the red-and-white checkerboard motif inside and the words ‘Hajduk Split 1911’ around the outside. In the stretch of street near the main post office, between the bus station and the market, stalls proffer shirts and tracksuit tops with the Hajduk motif. What’s it all about? Well, Hajduk are the de facto flagship football club of Dalmatia, most specifically Split. Pitted against the eternal enemy, Dinamo from Zagreb, Hajduk fans are fiery, passionate, loyal – and aggrieved by the recent years of failure and mismanagement. Nonetheless, a game at the Poljud stadium, north of the National Theatre, is a spectacle, not least for the dramatic setting over the Adriatic. Tickets are cheap and don’t, whatever you do, wear blue. On non-match days, a stadium tour allows you to peek into the club’s trophy room and find out more about their colourful history.
There is no Split without Hajduk Split football club. When talking about my home town, you can’t but mention this famous club. The club color is white and you will probably hear club’s supporters using the second name – BILI (Whites).
The name ‘Hajduk’ is referring to freedom fighters in Southeastern Europe who fought against the invading Habsburg and Ottoman occupations. That is why the founders of the club gave the club its name.
The story of football game (soccer) in Split has started long time ago in 1911 when a group of students (Fabijan Kaliterna, Lucijan Stella, Ivan Sakic and Vjekoslav Ivanisevic) who studied in Prague where watching matches of local rivals Sparta and Slavija, came up with the idea to found a football club in their home town.
Their idea has found general support as young people of Split very soon accepted football as the major sport. The only problem was where to find a suitable playground for this sport.
The only suitable place was a space located next to the old City Gas Plant (today Plinarska street) used as a training ground of the former Austro-Hungarian army.
After many requests and troubles, the local authorities have granted permission to use this location to built a playground measuring 100 x 60 meters.
Old stadium better known as Stari Plac (Old Lot) was an inadequate football ground and finally in 1979 team moved to a new stadium, Poljudska Ljepotica (Poljud Beauty).
The new stadium capacity is only for 35 thousand spectators but it’s famous for its position in Poljud district, very close to the sea and has the form of a shall.
It’s considered the most beautiful stadium in Croatia built to host the Mediterranean games.