Tournament of friendship held to Support Female Football

Thirty-eight players ran out to the football court Lužanjak after the EU Ambassador Lars Gunnar Wigemark kicked off the friendly match.

The match that was played under the mountain Ozren was amusing for the spectators. The home team, compiled of female football club ‘Petrovo’ and local mayors, fought well against the away team from Sarajevo, compiled of EU and UNDP employees. The reason for the match was the reconstruction of the club’s premises.

“I’m very happy to be here today, in Petrovo, at the opening of the premises for football club Sloga. This team has demonstrated everything that is good in Petrovo, in the region, in this country. One team that plays together, multiethnic, from different cities. They know what it means to play together,” said Ambassador Wigemark.

Female football club “Sloga” gathers 30 players from Petrovo and neighboring municipalities, from both entities.  Ten years ago, the club was formed by tragically deceased coach Jugoslav Jokić, who had a vision of connecting people through sport. Thanks to his efforts and the players’ motivation, the club qualified into the Female Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

They became a symbol of success that is achieved when the youth from different communities work together, and their moto of the ‘loved club’ became recognizable in Doboj-Tuzla region and beyond.

But, the past year has been very hard for this club. Their coach Jokić died in a traffic accident in August and in the December the storm that hit Petrovo destroyed the club’s premises. The European Union and UNDP, who have before intervened in this municipality, came to the rescue again.

Through the Local Integrated Development project, that is financed by the EU and implemented by UNDP, the premises were reconstructed, the new roof was added and the exterior and interior were refurbished. The Female football club ‘Sloga’ got new locker rooms, which means that they will no longer have to use the male ones. The investment was around 50,000 BAM. This is very important support to the female football and the woman’s empowerment”, said the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Sukhrob Khoshmukhamedov.

The club members, the coach Simo Tufekčić and the Petrovo mayor Ozren Petković expressed their gratitude to the Ambassador Wigemark by handing out a trophy inscribed with the title “Champion of Petrovo”.

“We finally have our own locker room, and just in time before the new season begins. I hope this will bring us luck in the upcoming tournaments”, said Merjema Nurkanović, the team captain.

The club was also given new sports equipment and the new jerseys to kick off the season.

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