For a long time, no night was that festive, loud and crazy in Bosnia and Herzegovina such as the important Tuesday, 15 October 2013, when the „Dragons“ (nickname for national football representation) got their ticket to the World Cup in Brazil next year and participated in this nation’s history making project. After many years of being that close, but yet stopped at the doors, finally Bosnian team kept its game strong and proud and provided us with a joy of having the most important of the „not so important“ things in the world – football games to be followed and cheered next year. Why is this match, this football game so important for the country? And why do I need to write it on the FLE blog, when many articles, news stations, daily web news repeated the contents continually throughout of these days? Because, these qualifications for the World Cup, are much more than a game, at least for the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
More than twenty years ago, before the Yugoslavia’s disintegration and aggression at the Bosnia and Herzegovina, today’s seven countries of the region formed one strong football institution including Bosnians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, Montenegrians and others. Praised by their game, force, initiatives for qualifications at that time European and World Cups. All of that have been put aside in 1992 when the brutality of aggression started, which turned family, friends and even team-mates into enemies. Bosnia and Herzegovina remains torn apart by political and economical problems, even 20 years after war. All the dedication and hopes were put to these eleven brilliant boys, defending the white stars on blue-yellow colour flag. Being on this road before, so close to the World or European Championships, people of Bosnia and Herzegovina felt excitement, sadness, happiness, support, anger, all in once. This time the Dragons had a golden opportunity to reach their first major championship and they took it without any reservations. So, there’s no wonder that after Tuesday’s game and qualifying to the World Cup, a spring of happiness, enjoyment, tears and support covered not only Bosnia and Herzegovina, but the whole region, too. The game results united the nations that live in this region, thanks to the social media web pages, support and congratulations came from all over the part of region and world. Sarajevo, Mostar, Tuzla, Banja Luka, Bihać, and other cities were the brightest ones in the night because of the huge amount of people cheering outside, dancing on the streets and crying of joy.
Also, this result affected the political situation: a few years ago it was impossible to imagine Bosnians, Serbs and Croats supporting the one team, but that has changed now, at least changed what it used to be. The biggest fear probably was that the huge amount of energy and love that people invest in the football team will not be returned, the feeling that we will never welcome our team on their way back and shout for support, the feeling that we will never live to see our country qualifying for something. But, it happened, the deciding goal broadcasted huge amount of positive energy in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the land that is always second to the best when comparing to others.
When looking through marketing tools, there’s no better way of representing one country than through important sport events, and this was something that Bosnia and Herzegovina wasn’t able to achieve. Although political and economical situation is still unchanged, regardless of the results, people of Bosnia and Herzegovina needed a new focus on something that might give them a reason for joy and happiness for next year. And what would be better than colourful dragon’s fire spread over Brazil in 2014 presenting this country in its best light.
Picture of support: the most shared picture on Facebook among people from the Ex-Yugoslavia region