Soccer // fudbal

As far as sports are concerned, fudbal, or soccer, is the most popular sport in Bosnia.  Many members of Bowling Green’s Bosnian community have memories of watching soccer matches with their family and friends, or of playing soccer back in Bosnia.  In Bowling Green, the tradition of soccer continues.

Playing Soccer

Photo by Mirnes Hajrić

There are a number of recreational teams here in Bowling Green, both for children and adults.  These teams are often sponsored by the Bosnian-owned business in town, such as BIH Express.

Photo by Mirnes Hajrić
Photo by Mirnes Hajrić
Photo by Brent Björkman
Photo by Brent Björkman
Photo by Brent Björkman
Photo by Brent Björkman

Soccer match, Islamic Center of Bowling Green, July 24, 2017. Video by Brent Björkman.

Football Club Sloboda Tuzla

“Back in 2012 — Sloboda is established in 1999 — and it’s really one of the teams [that] joined always highest league in ex-Yugoslavia… When I [got] back, they’re actually one league down because of all the problems they have, you know? They are one league down, and that’s my team that I liked since I was a child, you know? Then I see they’re in a bad situation, then I walk to the mayor of the city, I say, ‘I want to help establish Sloboda.’ He said, ‘Are you sure? Many of them tried, they didn’t make it.’ I said, ‘I want to try because that’s the team I like and I will do anything to try to get them back in Premier League.’ He said, ‘Okay…'” – Azmir Husić, 2016

In 2013, Bowling Green’s Azmir Husić became the President of the Bosnian soccer club Sloboda Tuzla.  Listen to Azmir tell the story of how he became the President and how he was able to get Ćiro Blažević to coach the team back into the Premier League:

Click here for the transcription of this audio clip.


2014 FIFA World Cup

It was a historic “first” for Bosnia & Herzegovina’s national football (soccer) team when the they qualified for the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil.  Bowling Green’s Mirsad Osmanović, Azmir Husić, and Nelvedin Husić made the trip to Brazil to witness their team compete for the first time on this major international stage.

Left to right: Nelvedin Husić, Azmir Husić, and Mirsad Osmanović. Osmanović is wearing a blue jersey that was was worn by a Bosnian player during the 2010 FIFA Qualifiers match between Bosnia and Turkey. Though Bosnia did not make it to the World Cup that year, Osmanović had this jersey signed by members of the 2014 Bosnian team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Photo courtesy of Mirsad Osmanović and Azmir Husić.
Photo courtesy of Mirsad Osmanović and Azmir Husić.
Photo courtesy of Mirsad Osmanović and Azmir Husić.

Watch this video by FIFA about Bosnia’s appearance in the 2014 World Cup: