Yugoslav First League
|Yugoslav First League|
|Kingdom of Yugoslavia
|Yugoslav Second League|
|Number of Seasons|
|Level on Pyramid|
|Last Champions 1991-92|
|Premijer Liga BiH
(made of Prva liga HB, Prva liga RS and Prva liga BiH)
Prva liga SR Jugoslavije
(now Superliga Srbije and 1. CFL)
The Yugoslav First League (Serbo-Croatian: Prva Liga, Serbian Cyrillic: Пpвa Лигa; pronounced [pr̂ːvaː lǐːɡa]) was the premier football league in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1918–1941) and socialist Yugoslavia (1945–1991). It may also refer to the first league of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (1991–2003), before it was renamed Serbia and Montenegro. The First League Championship was one of two national competitions held annually in Yugoslavia, the Yugoslav Cup being the other.
- 1 Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1923–1940)
- 2 SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1992)
- 3 Successor leagues
- 4 See also
- 5 References
Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1923–1940)
This was the first club competition on a national level for clubs from Kingdom of Yugoslavia (named the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes until 1930). The league was started in 1923 and the first four seasons had a cup tournament format, while the first round-robin league competition was held in 1927. In the period from 1927 to 1940 seventeen seasons were completed, with all the titles won by clubs from Croatia (Građanski Zagreb, Concordia Zagreb, HAŠK Zagreb and Hajduk Split) or Serbia (BSK Belgrade and Jugoslavija Belgrade).
It was governed at first by the Croatian-named Nogometni Savez Jugoslavije (Football Association of Yugoslavia), founded in April 1919 in Zagreb, until in late 1929 disagreements arose between the Zagreb and Belgrade branches of the association. This resulted in the association headquarters being moved to Belgrade in May 1930 where it adopted the Serbian name Fudbalski Savez Jugoslavije and continued operating the league until it was suspended due to the outbreak of World War II. Consequently with the moving of headquarters, Croatian players and coaches boycotted Yugoslav national team. With the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, separate Croatian and Serbian leagues were established, which operated during the World War II.
Champions and top scorers
Performance by clubs
SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1992)
Champions and top scorers
^ A special format tournament was held to re-affirm the newly found Yugoslav unity. The tournament consisted of eight teams: six representing Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Slovenia respectively, one representing Vojvodina, an autonomous region within Serbia and finally the Jugoslovenska Narodna Armija team, a selection of Yugoslav People's Army football players.
Titles by club
|Red Star||19||1951, 1952–53, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1963–64, 1967–68, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1976–77, 1979–80, 1980–81, 1983–84, 1987–88, 1989–90, 1990–91, 1991–92|
|Partizan||11||1946–47, 1948–49, 1960–61, 1961–62, 1962–63, 1964–65, 1975–76, 1977–78, 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87|
|Hajduk Split||7||1950, 1952, 1954–55, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1978–79|
|Dinamo Zagreb||4||1947–48, 1953–54, 1957–58, 1981–82|
Titles by republic
|SR Serbia||32||Red Star, Partizan, Vojvodina|
|SR Croatia||11||Hajduk Split, Dinamo Zagreb|
|SR Bosnia and Herzegovina||3||Sarajevo, Željezničar Sarajevo|
Performance by club
- *Known as BSK Belgrade before 1957
All time top goalscorers
||This table possibly contains original research. (October 2012)|
|#||Name||First League goals||First League matches||Goals per match ratio||Clubs||First League career|
|1||Slobodan Santrač||218||365||0.60||OFK Beograd, Partizan, Galenika||1965–1974, 1976–1980, 1982–1983|
|2||Darko Pančev||168||243||0.69||Vardar, Crvena Zvezda||1982–1992|
|3||Dušan Bajević||166||322||0.51||Velež Mostar||1966–1977, 1981–1983|
|4||Bora Kostić||158||257||0.61||Crvena Zvezda||1951–1961, 1962–1966|
|5||Frane Matošić||149||Hajduk Split||1946–1953|
|6||Toza Veselinović||145||227||0.64||Vojvodina, Partizan, Proleter Zrenjanin||1948–1949, 1951–1961, 1967–1968|
|=7||Zoran Prljinčević||129||Radnički Beograd, Crvena Zvezda|
|9||Dušan Savić||120||202||0.59||Crvena Zvezda||1973–1982|
|10||Dragan Džajić||113||330||0.34||Crvena Zvezda||1963–1973, 1974–1975, 1977–1978|
|11||Vojin Lazarević||112||188||0.60||Sutjeska, Crvena Zvezda||1964–1965, 1966–1970, 1972–1974|
|12||Josip Bukal||111||258||0.43||Željezničar||1963–1973, 1977–1978|
|13||Petar Nadoveza||108||217||0.50||Hajduk Split||1963–1973|
|14||Kosta Tomašević||104||156||0.67||Crvena Zvezda, Spartak Subotica||1946–1956|
|15||Vahid Halilhodžić||103||207||0.50||Velež Mostar||1972–1981|
|16||Snješko Cerin||103||Dinamo Zagreb|
|17||Petar Nikezić||102||301||0.34||Vojvodina, Osijek||1967–1978, 1979–1982|
|18||Zlatko Vujović||101||240||0.42||Hajduk Split||1977–1986|
Notable clubs (at least 10 top-flight seasons or at least one title)
Over the years the Yugoslav First League featured many different teams, but there were always a number of teams that stood out, typically from the bigger cities. Among these were:
The 1990-91 season was the last season held in its usual format, with clubs from all federative units participating in the championship. The breakup of the country also broke up its top-flight league into several smaller ones.
Slovenia and Croatia depart
In June 1991 Slovenia declared independence and Croatia followed suit in October of the same year. This meant that their football associations separated from the Football Association of Yugoslavia so they both started their own football leagues. The Slovenian PrvaLiga was launched in late 1991, while the Croatian Prva HNL saw its first edition in 1992. Affected by the ongoing war in Croatia, the season was held over the course of a single calendar year, from February to June 1992. Both leagues have been going on ever since.
The 1991-92 season season was the last season held officially under the name of SFR Yugoslavia, even though Slovenian and Croatian clubs have already abandoned the competition to play in their own leagues. Clubs from the remaining four federative units all took part in the competition, but since the Bosnian War broke out towards the end of the season, Bosnian clubs never finished it. (Željezničar of Sarajevo only managed to play 17 out of 33 scheduled fixtures, while Sloboda Tuzla and Velež Mostar ended the season with a few games short of completing the season.) Still, since most of the games were played as planned, Crvena Zvezda of Belgrade is credited with winning the last Yugoslav First League championship.
Macedonia and FR Yugoslavia
Macedonian clubs abandoned the competition after the 1991-92 season because the new Macedonian First League was launched the following season. For the 1992-93 season Bosnian clubs were all on hiatus due to full blown fighting that developed there, with the sole exception of Borac of Banja Luka (the strongest Bosnian Serb side at the time) which temporarily moved to Belgrade and joined the newly formed league featuring clubs from Serbia and Montenegro, this time restyled as the First League of FR Yugoslavia. (Serbia and Montenegro, the only ones left after other four member republics declared independence, renamed their country Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.) The league lasted under that name until the 2002-03 season, when the country changed its name so the league was renamed First League of Serbia and Montenegro. Finally, in June 2006 Montenegro declared independence and peacefully departed the union, so from the 2006-07 season onwards Montenegro started operating separate top-flight football league supervised by its football association. On the other hand, as the legal successor of Serbia-Montenegro state union, Serbia also got the continuity of the country's league that was formed as Prva liga (First League) in 1992, and renamed and rebranded as Superliga in summer 2005.
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Meanwhile, the football situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina got complicated. Due to the outbreak of ethnic warfare in April 1992 that turned into widespread conflict by the summer of 1992, no games were played in the 1992-93 season. In late 1993 some parts of the country re-launched football competitions, but just as the country was divided along ethnic lines, so was football - in 1993 Bosnian Croats launched the First League of Herzeg-Bosnia in which Croatian clubs competed.
As for the Bosniak part of the country, apart from a brief half-season in 1994 (won by Čelik Zenica), the game was put on hold until the 1995-96 season when the Bosniak league was formed. Bosnian Serbs also organized their own First League of the Republika Srpska the same year.
The setup with three separate football leagues operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina continued until 2000.
In the fall 2000 for the 2000-01 season, the UEFA-fostered Premijer Liga BiH was launched, with Croat and Bosniak clubs only, while the Serb clubs boycotted the new competition, continuing in their own separate league. Under pressure from UEFA, the Serb clubs also joined two years later for the 2002-03 season. Premijer Liga functions today as the unified top level league of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Two entity-based leagues still exist (essentially, modified version of the ethnic leagues - the Serb one stayed the same still with the name Republika Srpska First League, while the Croat and the Bosniak one merged into a single competition called Federation BiH First League), but have been pushed to the second tier of the football pyramid and serve as feeder leagues to the Premijer Liga.
Today's top flight successors
- Bosnia and Herzegovina → Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1994–present)
- Croatia → Prva HNL (1992–present)
- Macedonia → First Macedonian Football League (1992–present)
- Montenegro → Montenegrin First League (2006–present; from 1992–2006 had a joint league with Serbia)
- Serbia → Serbian SuperLiga (2006–present, from 1992–2006 had a joint league with Montenegro)
- Slovenia → Slovenian PrvaLiga (1991–present)
- "Povijest - počeci" (in Croatian). Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
- "Fudbalski savez Srbije - History". Football Association of Serbia. Retrieved 2008-06-28.[dead link]
- "Yugoslavia - list of topscorers". RSSSF. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- The league had a contracted season. In 1939, Croatian and Slovenian clubs began leaving the Yugoslav Football Association and joining the newly found Croatian Football Federation, in protest of the alleged centralization of sport around Belgrade. A new Croatian-Slovenian Football League was started, while the Yugoslavian First League continued on, soon to be renamed the Serbian First League. The split was eventually rectified with the promise of an increase in the number of Croatian and Slovenian clubs in the league. In the end, a short ten-round season was held.
- The Yugoslav FA decided that the last round of fixtures had to be replayed, after accusations that certain results had been fixed. Partizan, who had won the title with a 4-0 over Željeznicar Sarajevo, refused, after which the game was awarded 3-0 to Željeznicar, which gave Crvena zvezda the title and sent them to play in the 1986-87 European Cup. However, after a sequence of legal processes, the original final table, with Partizan as champions, was officially recognized in 1987.
"Yugoslavia list of champions". RSSSF. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
- Ten clubs had started the 1986-87 season with a deduction of 6 points, among them Partizan and Crvena zvezda, because of the events in the previous season. Vardar, who had not been deducted 6 points, won the title and took part in the 1987-88 European Cup, but the points deduction was later annulled after more legal proceedings so the title was given to Partizan, who headed the table with the deduction annulled.
"Yugoslavia list of champions". RSSSF. 28 May 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-26.