SARAJEVO - Tens of thousands of Bosnian Muslims have thronged into Sarajevo streets to celebrate the qualification of Bosnia's National team for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil as their country's first historical victory since declaring independence.
I have never felt like this. It's magical â¦ there are no words, Adnan Hadzic, a sports fan who stayed in the streets for hours, told the Guardian.
After all the mess we see every day, we need this happiness.
Bosnia gained qualification to world cup after a 1-0 win over Lithuania on the first day of ` Eid Al-Adha, October 15, to spread joy along with `Eid celebrations among the fans in the Muslim country.
Screaming of joy, commentators on Bosnian TV said: We're in Brazil, We're in Brazil, B-H is in Brazil!
It really would not have been fair if we did not qualify for the World Cup, Safet Susic, Bosnia's National Team coach was quoted by RFE/RL's Balkan Service after the victory.
I'd like to thank our great fans, who have always been our 12th player, and I'd like to thank everyone who believed in us.
This is fitting reward for all the hard work we have done in the past four years since I took over and I think we deserved to go through after scoring 30 goals in ten games, Susic added.
Chanting Bosnia, Bosnia, tens of thousands of partying fans flocked into Sarajevo streets to celebrate the victory.
Waving Bosnian flags along with blue and yellow hats in the colors of the national team, fans massed to welcome the national team players coming back from Lithuania.
This victory means everything to me, Sanja Mandic, 51-year-old doctor, told The Scotsman on Thursday, October 17.
I love them so much. They are the only bright thing in our lives and a glimmer of hope in these terrible times.
Before the match, nearly 10,000 Bosnian fans traveled to Kaunas to back their national team in the historical match, according to the Bleacher Report.
I want to thank all those who made the trip and also all our fans who are now celebrating in Bosnia and throughout the world, said Edin Dzeko, Manchester City striker who has scored 10 goals in qualifying.
We have shown just how mighty Bosnia is.
Welcoming the victory, many Bosnian public figures have praised the national team, which has players from Croat, Serb, and Bosniak-Muslim backgrounds.The best role models for future generations in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Zlatko Lagmudzija, the foreign minister, described the players, the Guardian reported.
Denis Becirevic, speaker of the parliament in Sarajevo, shared a similar opinion.
The national team has shown us all how to achieve results, not just in sports but in any field, Becirevic said.
Valentin Inzko, the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina, added that the victory sends a message to the world that a better future is possible.
I think it's very important to say that Bosnia has talent and potential, Inzko told Sarajevo-based Face TV channel.
This victory reaches beyond the boundaries of sport and it is a message to all good-willed people in the country that a better future is possible.
The citizens of Bosnia-Herzegovina can be proud of their national football team.
Unlike Sarajevo and other Muslim-majority towns, Serbs and Croats communities turned a deaf ear to the Bosnia's team historical victory underlining the decades-long ethical divisions.
The victory was not celebrated in any town, inhabited mainly by Bosnian Serbs or Croats, Tanja Topic, political analyst, told Agence France Presse (AFP).
Like everything else in Bosnia, (football) is under the influence of ethnic nationalist politics.
Whether they qualify for the World Cup or not, I do not care about Bosnia, Pero Cecura, a Croat from the southern Bosnian town of Livno, told AFP.
Adding that, he would only celebrate if Croatia qualifies after the play-offs.
It is like that, my heart tells me so. I feel no emotions for Bosnia's squad or the country itself, said Ljubomir Petrovic, a Bosnian Serb from the northern town of Prnjavor cold.
In 1992, Bosnia fell into a devastating civil war left 200,000 people dead and millions displaced.
In the final months of the war, Serb forces overran the city of Srebrenica, killing some 8,000 Muslim men and boys in one of the most shocking massacres in modern history.
The war damaged the country's infrastructure and slashed the gross domestic product (GDP) by 75 percent.
The 1995 Dayton peace accord ended the war by splitting Bosnia into two ethnically-based autonomous regions, the Muslim-Croat federation and the Serb Republic.
The country of 4.5 million has since been largely dependent on foreign aid.
Despite differences, others in the Serbian community have applauded Bosnia's squad victory, calling in a 'national success story'.
It does not matter what result we achieve at the actual World Cup, they are already among the world elite, Emil Vlajki, vice-president of the Bosnian Serb half of the country, told The Guardian.
All I have to say is bravo, bravo, bravo.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net