With regards to the derbies going on this weekend, all eyes should be focused on the upcoming fixture between HNK Hajduk Split and GNK Dinamo Zagreb.
It will be the first time they have met since their abandoned match last November in which Hajduk refused to participate. In what would have been the 198th Eternal Derby, Hajduk Split refused to take to the field in support of their travelling fans, the Torcida, who were banned from entering Dinamo’s Maksimir Stadium. This moment of discord is nothing new for the two Croatian sides. The abandoned match, which was registered as a 3-0 win for Dinamo Zagreb, was just another chapter in their volatile and fractious rivalry. The two clubs are the most popular and successful in Croatia and ex-Yugoslavia, and they both have some of the most notorious supporters groups in the world. However, more lies at the heart of this rivalry than just fan conflicts or on-pitch confrontations. The entwined history of both clubs can be traced back to the 1920s, though it was not until after the Second World War and the breakup of Yugoslavia that the rivalry really developed. It is this history, so rich in class division, political affiliation, supporter animosity, and executive corruption, that genuinely makes the unmissable Eternal Derby more than just a game of football.
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