Pitch black – The murky affairs of Bosnian football

Why did Uefa agree to give the Bosnian FA more than 1.5 million euro when it was clear that the Bosnian FA failed their contractual obligations? And why won’t Uefa answer questions regarding this payout?

By Alex Čizmić

Some may remember Bosnia and Herzegovina’s only appearance on the shiniest of stages, the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, but the truth is that most of the time Bosnian football has lived and still lives in the dark.

The country has in many respects never recovered socially, economically and politically from the destruction and death disseminated during four years of war in the 1990s.

The war ended in 1995 but, although the shooting stopped, the political and ethnic tensions remained. Almost all efforts by the people in politics and other positions of strength were focused to obtain and stay in power, not to reconcile the different souls of the country and look forward to the future.

Today Bosnia and Herzegovina is divided into two entities – the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH), which makes 51 percent of the country, and Republika Srpska, which makes 49 percent – and the self-governing district of Brčko. The entity of the FBiH is itself divided into 10 cantons, forming a system with huge administrations that slow down the path of progress.

Sport has been vastly neglected and a country with a once solid sport infrastructure was now on its knees, and for almost three decades nothing much has changed. Until now.

This is the first of a three part story about Bosnian football. In these three parts, we will aim...

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