Bilino Polje

Bilino Polje is the home football stadium of NK Čelik from the city of Zenica in Bosnia and Herzegovina and one of two stadiums of the national football team of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is also sometimes used for the Bosnia and Herzegovina national rugby union team as well.

History

The stadium was built and opened in 1972. It was used in Bosnia and Herzegovina's first match, a friendly played against Albania in 1995 with the final result being a 0-0 draw. The stadium is considered a "curse" for foreign national teams, due to the fact that the Bosnian national team usually wins or rarely loses their home games at Bilino Polje stadium. In a period stretching from 1995 to October 2006, Bosnia went undefeated at home in around 15 games played in Zenica. The city of Zenica had to wait another 5 years (1995–2000) before the next match of the national team was played at the stadium. This match was also a friendly, this time against Macedonia, with the final result being a victory for the home side 1-0. The Bosnian national team never lost on this field until the Euro 2008 qualifier against Hungary.

NK Čelik was formed in 1945 as a club and played its home games at Blatuša. At the time, the stadium was mainly built with wooden stands and could have an attendance of 15,600 spectators. Zenica, being an industrial city and having Željezara as the main provider for most of the population of the city, needed to provide some kind of job offer for its hard workers. Now, the decision was made to build a larger stadium since NK Čelik was taking part in the Yugoslav First League.

Bilino Polje was built within a 6-8 month period, and was ready for NK Čelik to host European teams in the then Mitropa Cup. At that time, NK Čelik hosted Fiorentina at the stadium in the finals of the Mitropa Cup and won it that year. Also, NK Čelik went on to win the Mitropa Cup the following year as well. A few years after the construction, the stadium was actually given the award for being the most beautiful stadium in Yugoslavia. Bilino Polje has the British style dimensions with a square look, rather than an oval look such as the Stadium Koševo in Sarajevo, which also makes it a beautiful and somewhat unusual stadium in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Facts
  • Record Attendance: 35,000 against Fiorentina in 1972
  • Address: Bulevar Kulina Bana bb, 72 000 Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina