The legend of Hase!

Asim Ferhatović Hase was born on January 24, 1933 in Kovači. He joined FC Sarajevo’s Junior Team in 1948 and played his first game as a senior player with FC Sarajevo in 1952 against Zagreb.

He was the best striker in the Yugoslav Championship during the 1963–64 season and played for Yugoslav Youth and B Teams, but only once for the Yugoslav A Team.

The legendary Ivica Osim, a former player and coach for the rival team, FC Željezničar, said that Hase was an outstanding and intelligent player and that if he were to ever play in Belgrade (Yugoslavia’s capital), he would surely come to enjoy far greater acclaim.

"I can only play in Sarajevo"

Hase went to Fenerbahçe, a Turkish club, in 1963, but when he heard, just before their match with Željezničar, that FC Sarajevo was having difficulty putting together a good team, he came back home.

He canceled his contract for just 10 days and reregistered to play with his home team. Sarajevo beat Željo 3-2 and, upon scoring a goal, Hase broke the goalpost out of sheer delight.

He returned to Turkey for a short time to play a total of nine games and it is said that he had to pay Fenerbahçe more in compensation than he got when signing on. He just wanted them to let him go back to his beloved Sarajevo.

He made a famous statement at the time which has been graffitied on the wall of Koševo’s annex stadium:

- Brother, I cannot play for money and be told how to play. I thank them, they were correct and did not cause me any problems. I told them I can only play in Sarajevo.

Hase loved to play “street football” with locals and even before important games he would escape from quarantine to help bolster his “street team”.

Sports enthusiasts were crazy about Hase’s intuitive way of playing and even fans from opposing teams would offer applause as he left the stadium.

During one game at Koševo, he was performing such feats that Mirko Kamenjašević, a sports commentator, made a break in the program, saying:

- Dear listeners, enjoy some music from our studio until they can grab the ball from Hase!

Double legend

He played his last game on October 16, 1966 at Kantrida Stadium in Rijeka, where he suffered an injury that would spell the end of his career a month later. FC Sarajevo was the champion of Yugoslavia that season.

Toward the end of his career he opened the famous ćevabdžinica, Devetka, named after his No. 9 jersey. Thanks to him, Sarajevo ćevapi became known throughout the region.

He was known as a generous man who always had a kind word for Sarajevo’s poor and had some change to spare.

Asim Ferhatović’s heart stopped beating between the nights of January 24 and 25, 1987 and Sarajevans bid him farewell by offering applause at the funeral.

He is still remembered by his fellow citizens, and Koševo Stadium and the street leading to it are named after him, as are FC Sarajevo Youth Academy, memorial tournaments for futsal, chess…. 

He is honored in the song, “The Sunday Hase Departed”, by the cult Sarajevo group, Zabranjeno Pušenje, even though some say it was dedicated to Josip Broz Tito.

FC Sarajevo celebrates its 70th year on October 24, 2016 and “bordeaux” fans are sure to use the occasion to chant “Hase is the only one!” and to pay homage to the legendary Asim Ferhatović Hase.