Nominating because I feel it finally not only meets all the FA criteria, but all the criteria raised by other reviewers in previous attempts. Having recently passed GA status with a very positive review, this article has been heavily worked on by myself and other editors, leading it to really meet all the requirements from the criteria. As per normal, any last-minute changes or suggestions are welcome and will be addressed. Domiy (talk) 07:17, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - based on criteria 1a. I suggest enlisting the help of a copyeditor go through the article and iron out the prose. Here are some examples of things that need to be fixed.
is the national side representing - As opposed to the international side?
The contemporary team has existed officially - Not sure "contemporary" is the word you're looking for here; "current" is much better. This sentence would read better as "The current team has existed since 1990 and was recognized by FIFA and UEFA in 1992, one year after Croatia gained independence from Yugoslavia."
Although authorized as an affiliate of FIFA in the earlier era, - What earlier era? From 1944 to 1990?
at competitive level. → at the competitive level.
Croatia remained a constituent nation of Yugoslavia - Would it would be more accurate to say "constituent federal republic"?
They went on to finish third - This is misleading. It sound like you're going to tell how they did in 1996, but instead talk about the 1998 World Cup. I suggest rewording.
As a person who does not follow football, I think it would be helpful to be more explicit when talking about competitions. "Euro 96" and "1998 World Cup" are not helpful. Why not just spell it out for clarity? That is, instead of "qualifying campaign for Euro 96", say "qualifying campaign for UEFA Euro 1996". Similarly, "They went on to finish third at the 1998 World Cup" becomes "They went on to finish third at the 1998 FIFA World Cup" (It turns out there are a LOT of world cups). To continue in this vein.... "Croatia has since qualified for every World Cup" - link World Cup to FIFA World Cup.
tournament—Euro 2000—since - Should be commas, not mdashes.
The team has achieved several noteworthy results, including victories over Germany, Holland, Italy and England. - Why are these notable? What about other teams, like Brazil, France or Argentina? This sentence just sounds like boasting.
they defeated the Germans - Really? All the Germans? How about "they defeated Germany" instead?
four-time world champions Italy - Reads very awkwardly. Actually, this entire sentence is structured oddly. Also, out of curiosity, how many times has Italy defeated Croatia?
Recent results include twofold - Errr... No. I'm noticing a trend in almost correct usage of words (twofold here). Be careful you know the exact definition of the word you're using before you use it. How about rewording this to "Croatia has also gained two wins over England: ..."
Recent results include twofold victories against England: 2–0 at home in the Maksimir Stadium and 3–2 at Wembley Stadium, England's first competitive defeat at the new venue. - This sentence also just feels like boasting; kind of like you're saying, "Haha! Look! We beat England TWICE!" Surely beating England isn't that rare of an occurrence in football.
At Euro 2008, they defeated eventual finalists Germany 2–1. - Reads awkwardly. Sounds better as, "At Euro 2008, they defeated the German team 2–1, who would later go on to be finalists."
Croatia is the only team to win FIFA's "Best Mover of the Year" - Link to Best Mover of the Year?
ranging from third to 125th - Would be helpful to give context to this by providing years: "ranging from third in <year here> to 125th in <year here>". This would also let you get rid of the parenthetical after "125th"—this is definitely something you want to do.
for considerable charges and infamy against the national federation by the governing bodies of football. - So many problems with this sentence. Unless my understand of the word has changed, I don't think you can have infamy committed against anything. "acts of infamy", yes. Infamy itself? No. Also, I have no idea what "by the governing bodies of football" is doing in this sentence. Are they the ones charging the fans with "hooliganism" and acts of "infamy"?
They obtain further media involvement through the prime broadcasting service of HRT - They "obtain" it? I think it would be better stated that HRT reports on all the devious/deviant things the fans do. Also, service of HRT → "service of Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT)".
all national team fixtures live. - Diction again... "fixtures"?
All of this is just from the lead. This article needs a thorough copy-edit by someone not close to it (i.e., not Domiy or Malez).
Nominator reply - Thank you VERY MUCH Yohhans. I understand your concerns and critical comments. Although, it must be noted that it is evident you are not well-knowledged on football. Just to ensure that you know how the majority (actually, pretty much all) football articles on WP are consistently written. I will explain it in correct order based on your points raised:
Forgive me, I don't think I made my point well. I was just wondering why that statement existed. I was thinking that the sentence reads better as (remember: this is my own opinion), "The Croatian national football team (Croatian pronunciation: Hrvatska nogometna reprezentacija) represents Croatia in international football matches and is governed by the Croatian Football Federation." - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I have reworded it correctly once again to read it like you suggested, which is similar to what other national team pages read as well. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
"the competitive level" does not make since, especially in football terminology. 'Competitive level' is a common phrase used in football, mostly by analysts and commentators. There is absolutely no need for 'the'.
I am well aware that that "competitive level" is a common phrase used in sporting commentary. However, it NEEDS a definite article (i.e., "the"). "at competitive level" is just grammatically incorrect. - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Even though I have some possible suspicions, I am going to take your advice as you seem to have a more thorough understanding of English than me, so I have included "the". Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Reworded correctly (to the best of my brief ability, I tried to end the Euro 96 sentence and ensure the reader knows I am about to refer to another tournament in the next sentence).
Even though the acronyms like '98 World Cup' and 'Euro 96' are also very common football terminology, I do see a slight need for them to be specifically stated because of possible misleading information. I would however argue that this would only be needed in the lead, and the rest of the team it should be spelled by its commonly referred shorter name. I found that constantly including the official name sounds way too specific too many times, and simply does not flow well in any prose. I will leave this untouched until we can reach an actual agreement on this. I have also linked FIFA World Cup.
I don't see a problem with saying "1998 FIFA World Cup". It really doesn't make the sentence any more cumbersome, and as you said, simply is more descriptive. Being more explicit, and therefore less ambiguous, is never a bad thing. - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I have spelled out the entire tournament name in the lead this time. As I said before, this is almost always only required the first time the tournament is referred to. There is absolutely no reader who would be mislead by reading the article. If they see that FIFA World Cup has been referred to in the lead, then I don't see why they would possibly think that other instances which state "World Cup" would mean some other tournament by the same name. It all reads fairly correctly now so it should be in order. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. Forgive me for my naivete when it comes to football. It looks fine now. - Yohhanstalk 22:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Croatia has never really defeated France, Argentina or Brazil, at least not in competitive matches. Such victories would be certainly notable if they had occurred though. However, the stated results are indeed very notable. I admit to a possible neutrally disputed prose to a tiny extent, so I will try to touch on this briefly. Please note that all decent quality national football team pages have a section like this in the lead. Take a look at Scotland national football team, which is already a Featured Article. Croatia has only existed officially for about 16 years, and since that short time period they have achieved noteworthy results. They are memorable because Germany, Italy, Holland and England are very good sides who have each had a large share of championship glory, and remain amongst the best international sides today (all except England are in the top 10 of the rankings).
I have no qualms with saying that they defeated a country at prestigious competition. However, just simply stating that they have defeated certain teams seems pompous. It is very different to say that Croatia defeated Italy at the World Cup than to say Croatia defeated Italy. This is why I have no problem with the second sentence of that paragraph ("During their 98 World Cup ..."), but I do have issues with the first sentence ("The team has achieved several ...") and the fourth ("They have also gained two ..."). See the difference? - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I see your possible fear of POV. I have reworded this entire paragraph to something a tiny bit more suitable and less 'pompous'. Please note that since all other national team pages do the same, then there is really nothing wrong with mentioning certain victories against certain teams. I'm pretty certain that this is a guideline from the WikiProject Football page. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, it looks fine now. Sorry for being so picky; I didn't realize it was such an important matter. In any case, if this is how WikiProject Football is doing it, then by all means, follow their standards - Yohhanstalk 22:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Coincidentally enough, Italy has never defeated Croatia. This remains one of the fan highlights of the national team's history. The two teams have played eachother in competitive and friendly matches a fair number of times since 1994. Croatia has won most of those fixtures, recording a draw in only one or two of them. It would have also definitely been critical to say that the first qualifying victory was actually played in Italy's home stadium, which makes the win even more notable. However, this has not been mentioned due to a limitation of these sentences and possible POV problems. How exactly is this sentence structured oddly to you anyway? I have done another brief best to slightly reword it, although I would like to hear what exactly you think is odd about the wording so I can make a better effort if needed.
Worded oddly because Italy is one country, not multiple, so "champions" should be singular (sorry, that was nitpicky). Structured oddly because "with" is a very poor connecting word, and suggests that the sentence could be structured better. Example: "Croatia has twice prevailed against four-time world champion Italy. The first win, played in Italy, was during qualifications for Euro 96, and the second was at the 2002 World Cup."
I also reworded this sentence as well. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Slightly reworded as well. Although, I dismiss the boasting claims. It may sound somewhat one-sided, but such a feat is definitely worth mentioning (probably one of Croatia's most notable and recognized achievements ever). It's extremely difficult to explain this to a non-football fan, but England are the most followed side in football today. Most of the media coverage is based in England, so their national team is covered very broadly. Additionally, they have a very strong history in major competitions. The fact that they lost twice and solely because of that failed to qualify for their first tournament in 14 years was a big issue in the country. To top it off, it was their first competitive defeat at their major new venue and it really caused the entire nation to panic because of the bad performance. They had thought they already qualified, but they lost to a small side like Croatia. Nobody can argue that it is not notable and it is indeed a rare occurrence for such to happen to England, but considering the nature of the achievement it is very difficult not to sound one-sided. It comes down to making a majorly one-sided event sound neutral, that's no easy task.
Well, I will leave this for others to decide then. I still think it is something that can be left out of the lead and simply included—and explained—later in the article. However, you must realize that it is possible that your readers do not know much about football and accommodate them accordingly. They will undoubtedly think to themselves, "Well, what makes England so special? What about <insert reader's country of origin here>?!" - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Of course, this is always a consideration. But if someone is really vaguely knowledged on football, it is indeed very possible that they will soon realise that since a victory over England is mentioned in the lead section of a highly rated article, then clearly it must be correct. There is a wikilink to England's national team page, which the user can easily access and find out that England are a very highly regarded side. Mentioning a victory against England is the same as mentioning a victory against Germany in the sense that they are both great teams with championship glory in their history. Anyone can find this out by briefly checking the records on the other national team pages. If they wonder why their own national team of origin is not worth mention, then they can look it up on Wikipedia and find out. At that point they will see that Croatia has either never defeated that team in a noteworthy match, or that team is simply not a highly rated one. For example, Croatia have beaten Andorra on every occasion they have faced eachother, and by a margin of at least 4 goals every time. If someone from Andorra wonders why their national team has not been mentioned in a highly regarded manner in this article, then they can follow the wikilink (or search it themselves) which will lead them to the informational sense that Andorra is a tiny country which has barely ever won a football match. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Ok... I'll try to say it differently this time. It looks like you're defining the Croatian national football team by who they've beaten, rather than what they have accomplished. You don't define Italy by the fact that they have never defeated Croatia, or that they beat France X number of times. Rather, you define them by the fact that they have won the FIFA World Cup four times. In any case, this is becoming drawn out. It's really not that big of a deal. It looks good how it is now. - Yohhanstalk 22:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, the governing bodies of football (known as FIFA and UEFA) are the ones who have charged the national association because of the hooligan conduct of the fans. But yes, your 'infamy' point is correct and was kind of expected to be honest. This sentence always stood out to me for its awkward wording. I really need some assistance in re-wording this though. English is my second language, and for a situation like this, I am kind of stuck on alternatives for this sentence. The fans have gained infamy, so I think this needs to really be included.
I have no problem with its inclusion (it's of my opinion that all headings in the article should be included in the lead). I'll try and come up some sort of rewording later, but I still think you should contact experienced copy editors to run through the entirety of the article. My point is that all the things I am challenging are just from the lead which is a very small part of this article. This leads me to believe that the rest of the article needs to be looked at. - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
With the greatest deal of respect to you and your early efforts in this FAC, this is an assumption which cannot be made by reviewers. I was actually going to raise this in my previous reply but it seems that it slipped from my mind. The issues you found in the lead are very unique. Not only because your problems themsleves are unique in the sense you have raised them, but also because the lead section of every article is always uniquely written. I can imagine a few picky instances in the body of the article where some problems may arouse, but certainly not as many as you raised in the lead. If you read through the rest of the article, I'm confident that you will find it is correctly written in other aspects. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
That is an amazingly naively constructed syllogism. The likelihood that only the lead is not written well is very low. I don't see how the lead's uniqueness correlates to the quality of an article's prose. - Yohhanstalk 22:27, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Similarly, just because some problems exist in the lead, doesn't mean they definitely exist in the rest of the article. No submitted work/paper/essay etc is marked based on the opening thesis (I write large essays all the time for my studies). The body is what is most important, and that goes for any encyclopedia. Remember the purpose and role of the lead; to merely sum up the article. This is a difficult task for me, at the very least. Look at all the headings and how much relevant information exists under them, that will show you how difficult it is to sum up 68 years worth of a football team's history in a few short paragraphs. The lead section is always the hardest because of such. Every word has relevant meaning in the lead, whereas you can freely use expanding words to make things sound more clear in the body prose. Likewise, your opposition points in the lead have now all been addressed now. As it currently stands right now, your opposing comments have been resolved and do not exist in the article anymore. I once again thank you deeply for your efforts and critical feedback, but I hate to sound picky as well but it seems I have to; either strike out your oppose to a neutral/support or find more relevant examples where you think problems exist. Until then, it is unobjectionable to oppose based on resolved comments. Sorry I didn't mention this before, but coincidentally enough this article has gone through a peer review and been improved by numerous copyeditors who were contacted. Relevantly, I was actually the one who wrote the lead (me and a couple of other second-language speakers). The copyeditors did most of the body prose. User:Wiggy is the main one. He fixed up a lot of the prose in the rest of the article. So in reality, the lead section and the rest of the article are two different sets of work by two different users. Domiy (talk) 23:28, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, again, it is up to the reviewer to determine whether all his/her comments have been resolved. An oppose based on prose with extensive examples provided is perfectly actionable. Reviewers are not obligated to endlessly delineate problems with an article's prose; FAC is not a copyedit shop. Maralia (talk) 23:51, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll echo those thoughts. Domiy, I've suggested you take this to WP:PR on numerous occasions to help get the nomination ready for FAC, yet despite this failing on three previous occasions, it hasn't had a peer review since before the first nomination. No-one is forcing anyone to get a peer review, but I've tried to advise you to do so, because I feel it would be a big advantage in this case. Peanut4 (talk) 00:01, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Just because the article hasn't had a peer review, it doesn't mean it should be treated any differently. I've already explained the basis for the picky problems found in the lead. It is indeed most likely such do not exist in the article body itself. Technically, examples were provided on the basis for opposing. However, since they have been fixed up, the examples are now dead and inactionable. So, realistically speaking, there are no examples on the grounds for the oppose. If you have any doubts, I suggest you look at some more FAC's and see how they were nominated and promoted. I'm yet to see a FAC which gained instant support without any issues first raised and fixed up. Domiy (talk) 00:43, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm quite familiar with how FACs proceed, and that's precisely why I spoke up when you essentially characterized the above oppose as inactionable because you believe the editor's concerned are resolved. You can certainly ask a reviewer to strike resolved issues and reconsider their oppose, but again, reviewers are not expected to identify every instance of poor prose when opposing on prose grounds. Maralia (talk) 00:57, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
I have listed the issues I raised as resolved; however, my oppose still stands. I do not think the article's prose meets the 1a guideline of being "engaging, even brilliant, and of a professional standard". - Yohhanstalk 20:30, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
There seems to be a confusion with this sentence. I am trying to say that the national association and national team itself gain the media attention through HRT. This attention additions the initially stated attention gained by the infamy of the hooligan fans. This sentence has been completely reworded however.
Also reworded correctly.
It is easy to see where your opposing prose comments come from, however it should once again be noted that some strong aspects of it are not applicable and are rather misunderstood. Hopefully I have addressed such in this reply. Domiy (talk) 03:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
And my point is that because they are easily misunderstood, things should be reworded. If your prose is confusing your audience, then it needs to be reworked. You have addressed most of my concerns with the lead, but that does not mean that similar problems do not exist in the rest of the article. - Yohhanstalk 16:49, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Image comment - For the Bilic photo, don't just post a link to the Flickr home page. Include a link to the photo itself. The images should be checked anyway, because that was a major reason the last FAC was archived. Giants2008 (17-14) 21:20, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Nominator reply - There is no link to the Flickr homepage. I provided a link to the authors profile page, and a link to the copyright and terms/conditions page. Thank you for your concern, and I have now added another link to the actual image page. Domiy (talk) 03:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
"Their FIFA World Ranking has been the most volatile of all nations, ranging from third to 125th (the latter shortly after the team began playing independently)." I raised concerns about this at the previous FAC, and it was removed, but has now since been added again. Their is no definitive source for the claim particularly "most volatile" and hence it is either untrue or WP:OR. Their 125th ranking was largely a nominal ranking given to them when they started playing as is already mentioned. Their form meatn their ranking climbed rapidly. Volatility suggests it has gone up and down, when Croatia's went up a lot before settling down to the same as many other countries. Peanut4 (talk) 01:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Nominator reply - This keeps getting re-worded to its current state by other editors. I have gone on and left it. I still argue it is true information. As I said before, sources are not required to state the exact information. Instead of saying Croatia have been the most volatile of all nations, the many provided sources go into through detail about how they have been uniquely powerful and volatile in the ratings. On top of the fact that they range simply from third to 125th, there is also detail provided about how they have more recently been ranked at about 17th, to 14th, to 7th, to 10th, and at their current 6th place. This clearly implies their volatility. Unless you can prove that this is NOT true (i.e, provide another similar article(s) on another national team which describes similar volatility) then it cannot be really deemed as Original Research. This sentence provides a wikilink to the FIFA Best Mover of the Year award anyway. The nature of that award is described in that separate article which sums up that only the most volatile of nations have won the award. Since Croatia are the only team to win it twice, they are most-certainly the only team to be so volatile in the rankings. Domiy (talk) 03:10, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
It is not up to people to disprove facts, but for you to provide accurate, reliable sources to prove the facts. Croatia have twice won an award for best mover. Hence all the current facts point towards Croatia being one of the top sides to move up the rankings, and not up and down. Hence there is no reliable evidence to back up the claim they are "the most volatile". Peanut4 (talk) 18:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Fine. I admit to that. Your edit will stand. Domiy (talk) 21:53, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Oppose also on criteria 1a. You have put a hell of a lot of work into it, but I still maintain a peer review may help to iron out the problems with the prose. The article certainly looks thorough, and is largely neutral, but there are several places where the prose could be improved. Including but not confined to:
"Croatia defeated the Swiss 4–0 in Zagreb on April 2, 1940, marking their debut match as a distinctly recognised side." What's a "distinctly recognised side?"
"The directed national side played 15 friendly matches until 1944". What's a "directed national side?"
"This was the last Croatian national team which played during this period as such activities were eventually ceased." What does "such activities" refer to?
"Miroslav Blažević remained in charge as Croatia set their venture on the 1998 World Cup." "set their venture?" Seems very informal to me.
"This was one of the last games played by a team representing "Yugoslavia", as that side was soon renamed Serbia and Montenegro to reflect the creation of a new individual state." Again "as that side" seems rather informal.
"Their subsequent loss of form, however, became overly difficult to cope" I haven't got a clue what this means.
"Retiree Zlatko Kranjčar took over as national team coach" What does retiree refer to?
"Jozić momentarily stepped down as manager," When did he return as manager?
"Croatia failed to overcome Japan after an array of chances, including a penalty, went begging." Went begging is extremely informal / jargon.
"Despite such, they finished with maximum group points for the first time in their tournament history after beating co-hosts Austria, Germany and then Poland to ensure advancement to the quarter finals." What's wrong with "advance to the quarter finals"?
I echo Yohhans concerns about the prose quality and suggest at the very least a copy-edit. Peanut4 (talk) 01:18, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Oppose - I'm in agreement with the other reviewers. Here are a few more examples of questionable prose.
Decline under Jozic and Baric: "Despite the experience in the Austrian-born manager, Croatia continued to distress during the Euro 2004 qualifications." Distress?
"However, they managed to display a 2-2 draw against reigning champions France." Don't like display. How about "they managed a 2-2 draw with reigning champions France."?
Kranjcar and Bilic's revival: "With a a broad range of younger talent avaliable..." Typo.
"This excelled the Croats in their qualifying campaign..." Again, don't think excelled is the right word.
Please keep in mind that these are merely examples of problems that are most likely in the whole article. I merely skimmed through a couple of sections, meaning there are probably more issues than have been raised so far. Giants2008 (17-14) 02:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Oppose per 1a. I started at the bottom and worked up, and in only a few paragraphs found phrases etc. that I couldn't make heads or tails of:
"Since the breakup of Yugoslavia in such a manner, Croatian followers have caused heavy tensions between affiliated supporters of the former Yugoslavian state"
"National team fixtures are regularly shown live and replayed"
"increased heavily in the buildup to significant fixtures."
"he players credited his error as a relieving factor behind their victory"
"Croatia's primary supporters, often associated with hooliganism, have been responsible for considerable charges against the national federation by the governing bodies of football." - what is this saying?
"Oct 2002" - what's wrong with October?
"At the competition, Croatia conceded the fewest goals of any team (2), suffered the fewest losses (0) and scored the earliest goal (4th minute in their opening game against Austria), the latter becoming a new European Championship record." nasty sentence and WP:MOS issues.
Why bullet point 1930 to 1990 – Not applicable. and 1994 – Could not enter. when you could write it as prose?
Same with "1960 to 1992 – Could not enter."?
Is the Korea Cup notable enough for inclusion? It doesn't even have a Wiki article.
All managers in the table are Croatian - why do you need a flag for each one?
Well how do you know they are all Croatian? One of them might be from Bosnia, Serbia, Germany, Austria, England etc. They are all from Croatia, hence the use of the flags for every single one of them. National team's often do have foreign managers so it is important to identify their nationaility. Nobody would know they are all Croatian if it weren't for the flags. Domiy (talk) 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Why aren't names sortable in those tables?
They go by order of tenure. It would be very confusing having Croatia's first manager in the middle of the table, and their current manager mixed somewhere else. They are going by order of appearance, and this is the preferred style of most pages in any correct sense. Domiy (talk) 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Why "2010 FIFA World Cup qualification - UEFA Group 6" bold? And why not some prose there to introduce the current squad rather than a bunch of bullets and flags?
This is not a requirement or a preference from Wikiproject Football. What could you possibly prose out about the squad? Bullets are perfect, they identify when the squad was announced and for what games they will be used in. Nothing more needs to be said. Having this in prose would be just one or two extremely short sentences which causes more layout problems. Domiy (talk) 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
It is necessary. Every other national team page has them, including the Scotland page which is already a Featured Article. Domiy (talk) 03:38, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
These are enough to convince me this needs much more work. The Rambling Man (talk) 20:44, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive. Please do not modify it. No further edits should be made to this page.