The first part of the competition in the “m:tel” Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina is coming to its end. Seventeen rounds of our elite football competition are behind us, and a lot of public attention was focused on the reconstruction of the main pitches of PL clubs, and lately on the postponement of derby matches for the spring part of the competition. The general secretary of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Federation, Adnan Džemidžić, speaks more about these topics below.
1. Until the end of the autumn part of the “m:tel” Premier League, there are still two rounds left. However, it is certain that two matches will not be played in the autumn part of the competition, namely the 17th round match between FK Velež and HŠK Zrinjski and the 18th round match between FK Sarajevo and FK Željezničar. Why were these matches postponed until spring and will this affect the regularity of the competition?
“These two big derbies of the “m:tel” BH Premier League were postponed by the decision of the BH FF Competition Committee, and the main reason is the impossibility of playing these matches at the stadiums of the host clubs. Work is underway to install new pitches with hybrid turf, and due to the importance of these matches, the BH FF Competition Committee has assessed that both matches are high risk and cannot be played on substitute pitches.
In accordance with the provisions of the BH FF Regulations on Work of Committees and Legal Bodies, the Competition Committee, as an advisory body to the Executive Board, proposed measures aimed at preventing potential problems at matches characterized as “high risk” matches. The derby matches we are talking about here are such, and since there was no consent from the competent police authorities to play these matches on substitute pitches, both were postponed and will be played until the end of the second round of the competition within the “m:tel” BH Premier League.
We follow the positive examples and practices of other associations, but above all we take care of the regularity, integrity and character of the competition. I am sure that both matches will attract a lot of attention from the spectators, and the pitches on which they will be played will raise the quality of the competition and the game itself."
2. One of the most significant projects implemented by the BH FF is the Complete Reconstruction of Main Pitches at Stadiums of the BH Premier League. In the past period, there were a lot of complaints from certain clubs due to delays in works on their stadiums. In which phase is this Project currently?
"We are nearing the end of the first phase. By installing grass surfaces in stadiums where work is being carried out or has been completed, many deficiencies in the underground infrastructure of facilities, built decades ago were discovered. Not expecting that these problems could slow down or stop the work on the preparation of the ground for laying the new turf, the BH FF systematically and responsibly approached this task. All facilities are subject to expert and professional supervision by responsible people, engaged by the BH FF, in order to implement this Project in its entirety at all selected locations. When we consider all the circumstances, from the weather to the technical ones, we must be satisfied that in a period of five months we managed to bring the four planned pitches with hybrid turf to the final stage. This is primarily about capital investments; large funds are invested in the facilities of clubs and local communities.
We are aware of the fact that the people in the clubs, as well as we in the Federation, are looking forward to the completion of the works on these pitches with impatience and great anticipation. With the project Complete Reconstruction of Main Pitches at Stadiums of the BH Premier League, the Federation showed its willingness to invest in the development of football together with clubs and local communities so that the Premier League clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina would have the best playing conditions.
These grass pitches will be made according to the highest standards, which will provide better working conditions and faster football development for generations of young players. In the end, I would like to say that this is the largest investment infrastructure project in our country since the BH FF was established.
The second phase of the Project, at the stadiums planned for the complete reconstruction of the pitches and installation of a new surface, will follow in the first quarter of next year.”