Stadion Vinkovci – HNK Cibalia Vinkovci
Stadium HNK Cibalia Vinkovci is home ground for Croatian football club HNK Cibalia. It is located at the address Ul. Hansa Dietricha Genschera 22, 32100, Vinkovci. The stadium was built in 1966 and has almost not changed until 1982 when Cibalia (then called Dinamo Vinkovci) entered into the then First National League. After that began major reconstruction and as a result, the east stand was built. Due to reconstruction, according to some sources, all Vinkovci rural economy gave up one day payment in favor of the club. After the reconstruction, the stadium’s capacity was 18,000 spectators (including standing room). Until 1992, the stadium was named Stadion Mladost, when the name changed and to this day the stadium carries the name of the stadium HNK Cibalia Vinkovci. In 2003 chairs were set up on the eastern and western part of the stadium, 3000 to the east, and 700 chairs on the west. In 2008, spotlights were added, along with modern tartan track around the entire field. The total current capacity of the stadium is 10,000 seats.
HNK Cibalia Vinkovci
The club was founded in 1919 as a Croatian citizen railroad club (HGŽK) Cibalia by dr. Slavko Jankovic. Today, there’s a street named after him in Vinkovci. During NDH club continued to operate causing the new communist government in 1945 froze its activities, and finally in 1947 shut it down. According to some sources, players protested against erasing the club name but at that time, protest was equal its own suicide. But at its foundation, its stadium, with most of its players, connecting RSFD Sloga and OFD Granicar the new club was born called Dinamo Vinkovci. The club entered in the second Yugoslav league in 1968, and the first in 1982. It played there for five seasons when it is administratively expelled to the second federal football league. In 1990’s club returns the old and original name Cibalia. The club’s greatest successes were:
- the Croatian cup final in 1999
- semifinals of the Intertoto cup in 2003
- 3rd place in first Croatian football league in 2010
- the second qualifying round of Europa league in 2010
For the past 20 years, HNK Cibalia Vinkovci had many ups and downs. Unfortunately more downs than ups with constant financial struggle. The club is currently playing in first Croatian football league but is last with 9 points and 3 points behind second-last, Split. Its biggest rival is NK Osijek and their derby is called “Slavonski derby”. Cibalia does not offer online sales of tickets, but you will have no problem with buying a ticket just before the match. Ticket price ranges from 3 to 5 €. Cibalia fans are called Ultras Vinkovci. Not so many years ago, despite there weren’t many of them, they were in top four Croatian ultras. Their slogan is “Malo nas je, al’ smo govna” (“We’re not many but we’re badass”). Unfortunately, with bad club results, change of generation and police repression things has changed. But when the old crew of Ultras Vinkovci gathers together, they are still very respectable crew. Moreover, they have the best football fans song in Croatia, written (and singing) by one of their members, popularly called “Jale”. If you’re lucky, while visiting Vinkovci, you can catch him playing in one of local bars.
And this song is about their crew.
There was a match played between HNK Cibalia Vinkovci and GNK Dinamo Zagreb on Sunday and one more reason for to me visit Vinkovci again after some years. Because of great people and city itself, it’s my second favorite city in Croatia, after Zagreb. The match itself was a battle between David and Goliath, where “David” was on a reach of sensation by almost taking two valuable points from, currently second, Dinamo Zagreb. At the end, the game finished by 1-2 for Dinamo and controversial referee’s decision with a penalty kick for Dinamo in the very finish of the game.
Vinkovci is beautiful small town, located on the river Bosut in the north-east of Croatia, less than 300 km from its capital city Zagreb. If you visit Zagreb, be sure to rent a car and visit this beautiful and historical Croatian town. There you’ll find diverse tourist offer. With rich historical sites, as well as interesting economic characteristics of the area, Vinkovci and its surroundings also offer diverse and comprehensive catering – tourist offer and attraction.
The city offers various gastronomic and hotel deals ( “Villa Lenije”, “Slavonia”, “Lady M”, “Hotel Gem”, …), and about thirty specialized restaurants with Slavonian specialties, most of them in the city, and some by the roadside.
The Tourist Board of Vinkovci gave the initiative back in 1975 to the ancient beauty of the rich and beautiful Slavonia used for the development of rural tourism, since the villages Otok, Ivankovo, Rokovci, Andrijasevci, Lipovac and many others are located in the beautiful interiors of the famous oak forest and the meanders of the rivers Bosut, Bid, Spacva, Studva and their tributaries. Particularly famous are “sources” at the Otok – a natural phenomenon almost untouched forest nature. Today, in addition to pure nature and rest in silence, walking, hunting, fishing guests can join in village affairs with his host and enjoy the famous Slavonian specialties. All these villages have preserved its original appearance, their customs, feasts, folk costumes, games and merry songs. There really are a number of exciting things to do in Vinkovci. From historical sites to cultural attractions and I can assure you, you won’t be sorry if you choose to drive to Vinkovci.
If you come in Croatia in September, then Vinkovci IS A MUST to visit. For more than three and a half decades now there are held Vinkovacke jeseni (Vinkovci Autumn fair). The Vinkovci Autumn fair is the largest and most famous folk, cultural, economic and tourist event not only Vinkovci and the surrounding area but also Slavonia, Baranja and whole continental Croatia in general. The opening ceremony takes place on the open stage in the main square or near river Bosut with the program which is the source and inspiration of Slavonia and Sokadija – its customs and traditions of Croatia. The program involves the popular Croatian actors and singers of classical, pop and folk music.
Participants parade of the Festival in the streets of Vinkovci is a feast for eyes and ears. After the solemn mass at St. Eusebio and Polion church several kilometers long parade are moving toward the HNK Cibalia stadium. Tens of thousands of spectators who fill the streets and central square can enjoy the beauty of folk costumes and the sounds of folklore groups from Hungary, Ukraine, Polish, Slovak Republic, France, Sweden and other countries to participate as guests in the fall. Festival of folklore with a parade of all the participants and presentation of horse-drawn carts is the most attractive and most visited event in Vinkovci Autumn. The special interests of the parade and Festival provoke appearance and performance of horse-drawn carts. Because of the former way of life, for Slavonian people, horses and carriages have a special, almost mythical significance.
You only have 3-hour ride with a car on a highway from Zagreb so be sure you don’t miss this great opportunity for visiting one of the most beautiful areas of Croatia.
Note: Some facts about HNK Cibalia and its stadium may differ from actual due to destroyed archive after the war.