SARAJEVO: Thousands gathered on Saturday in Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to attend the funeral of Ivica Osim, a Bosnian football legend.
Osim, who was born in Sarajevo on May 6, 1941, died on May 1, 2022, in the Austrian city Graz, where he spent a great part of his career. Starting his career in 1959 as a player of the football club Zeljeznicar in Sarajevo, Osim was even more successful as a coach and led many clubs into their most successful seasons, including Zeljeznicar from Sarajevo, Austrian Sturm, Serbian Partizan, and Greek Panathinaikos. The famous coach took former Yugoslavia to the 1990 World Cup quarterfinals and arrived in Japan in 2003 to steer strugglers JEF United into J-League contention. In 2006, Osim replaced Brazilian legend Zico to take the reins of the Japanese national team but gave up the post at the end of 2007 because of a serious stroke.
Osim was the honorary president of the Football club Zeljeznicar, as well as of the Football Association of BiH. Many prominent politicians and sportsmen from around the world came to pay respect to Osim, including Zeljko Komsic, the member of the Presidency of BiH, Yasuharu, the Technical Director of the Japanese national football team, and Makoto Ito, the ambassador of Japan to BiH. The commemoration, as well as the funeral, was broadcasted live by the Bosnian national public broadcaster BHRT. Osim is buried at the Alley of the Distinguished at the Sarajevo city cemetery Bare.