Croatian football is in shock after 24-year-old NK Zadar forward Hrvoje Ćustić died from a head injury sustained during his side's league game against HNK Cibalia.
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Ćustić was declared dead today, having never regained consciousness following the blow to his head. The player fell awkwardly after a challenge during the Cibalia match and, as his momentum carried him off the field of play, his head struck a concrete wall beyond the touchline. He was taken to hospital but, despite intensive treatment, his condition began to deteriorate yesterday. "It's awful," said Zadar captain Jakov Surać. "We are all crushed. I have lost a friend and team-mate." All of this weekend's Prva Liga fixtures have been postponed as the nation's football community comes to terms with the tragedy.