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Croatian Canadians set to root for favorites when Canada face Croatia in World Cup

Marinko Buric and his family have a red and white Croatian soccer jersey ready for when they visit a friend’s house to watch Canada and Croatia play in the World Cup this Sunday.

Brick expects a tumultuous morning with a big breakfast and lots of cheering for the team from Croatia despite the fact that it will be Canada’s first time in the tournament in decades. .

“When it comes to football, I’ve always been a lot closer to the Croatian national team than the Canadian national team,” said Brik, a Canadian-born Croatian from Halton Hills, Ontario.

“Football is a big part of Croatian culture.”

While many Canadians support the men’s soccer team, many Canadians of Croatian descent say their loyalties lie with the opposing team.

Susan Katana Coke said it was difficult to choose between the two teams, but ultimately decided to root for Croatia.

“I’m Canadian, so I’m kind of torn in a way, but I’m also Croatian because of my family heritage,” said a resident of Markham, Ontario. I would love to see Croatia win despite the fact that

Canada will be in the World Cup for the first time in 36 years and Sunday’s match will be their second at the tournament in Qatar.

Croatia’s football team has qualified for the World Cup for the sixth time since the country’s independence in 1991. In 1998 he finished third and in 2018 lost the final to France.

Croatia Heritage Association director Erika Zlomislich loves Canada but wants Croatia to win the match.

“People’s loyalties are divided when it comes to sports,” she said, adding that she plans to watch the game with her family at her home in Toronto.

“Croatia is a very small country with a population of less than 5 million people. .”

A Croatian-Canadian, Zlomisrich spent years as a journalist covering the war in Croatia in the early 1990s. She loves the Croatian team so much that she even wears the 1998 World Cup jersey.

She said she hopes Canada, which plays in Group F, will advance to the next stage of the tournament, but is rooting for Croatia to win the World Cup.

The World Cup kicked off last Sunday amid controversy over host country Qatar’s human rights record. , criticized violence against the LGBTQ community. Qatar said it would welcome “anyone” to visit during the World Cup, but said the country’s “culture” should be respected.

Canada defied expectations by defeating two strong teams, Mexico and the United States, in their World Cup qualifying matches, paving the way for Qatar.

Mississauga Croatia football club coach Marco Gotback said despite playing in a relatively difficult group that Canada lost 1-0 to Belgium in the opening match, given their strong performance in qualifying. , said Canada has a chance to advance to the knockout stage.

“When you look at Canadian football, I definitely think this team of this generation is probably the best in the history of the game here in Canada.

“I’m sure they’ll annoy all the teams in the tournament.”

Gotback said the Canadian side has star players like Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David on its roster, and every player on this year’s team has been a role model for many of the young players he coaches. There is

“The Canadian boys will come out there and have a Canadian fighting spirit,” Gotback said.

“My wish is for a quality match and I’m sure that whoever wins the match between Croatia and Canada, they deserve it.”

Canada is scheduled to face Morocco in their next match on Thursday.

This report by the Canadian Press was first published on November 25, 2022.

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Croatian Canadians set to root for favorites when Canada face Croatia in World Cup

Source link Croatian Canadians set to root for favorites when Canada face Croatia in World Cup

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