Football in Montenegro

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Montenegro was independent from the late middle ages until 1918, when declared it's union with Serbia and, subsequently, became part of various incarnations of Yugoslavia and the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. During this time, football in Montenegro was part of the wider Yugoslavian structures. As a result of the Montenegrin independence referendum held on May 21, 2006, Montenegro declared independence two weeks later, on June 3, and formed its own football association.[1][2]

Domestic competitions[edit]

The top-tier football competition in Montenegro is the Montenegrin First League. It is at the top of a pyramid of three leagues, of which the lowest, the Montenegrin Third League, is split into three regional competitions (North, Central, South). Since 2007, the champions of the Montenegrin First League enter the qualification for the UEFA Champions League; the runners-up and third-placed team will enter the UEFA Europe League, same as a Montenegrin Cup winner.

Main Cup competition is Montenegrin Cup. Lower-tier teams are playing in the Montenegrin Regional Cups, which have three divisions.

Women's competitions are existing since 2008. Top-tier competition is Montenegrin Women's League, whose champion is playing in qualification for UEFA Women's Champions League. Another competition is Montenegrin Cup (women).

League system[edit]

Men's football[edit]

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Telekom 1.CFL
12 clubs

↓↑ 1-3 clubs

2

Druga Liga
12 clubs

↓↑ 2 clubs

3

Montenegrin Third League
21 clubs

Women's football[edit]

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Montenegrin Women's League
8 clubs

Cup Competitions[edit]

National team[edit]

The Montenegro national team played its first match in Podgorica on March 24, 2007, when they beat Hungary 2-1.[3] Its home stadium is Podgorica city stadium and its coach is legendary Montenegrin footballer Zoran Filipović. Montenegro are members of UEFA and play in a red kit with yellow trim. After independence in June 2006, Montenegro was still represented by the Serbia and Montenegro team which had qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Serbia and Montenegro’s final game in this tournament, a 3-2 defeat against Côte d'Ivoire was the final game for the unified side.

History[edit]

Pre-2006[edit]

Football in Montenegro, as part of Yugoslavia, was organised first by the Football Association of Yugoslavia, founded in 1919 and renamed the Football Association of Serbia and Montenegro in 2003. Yugoslavia, later Serbia and Montenegro, was one of the leading countries in European football. They twice reached the semi-finals of the World Cup (in 1930 and 1962) and twice finished runners-up in the European Championships (in 1960 and 1968). The first player from Montenegro to play in a World Cup was Milovan Jakšić who was the Yugoslav goalkeeper at 1930 World Cup. Ever since, Montenegrins were usually well represented in the Yugoslav and Serbia and Montenegro teams, some as Dragoljub Brnović, Dejan Savićević and Predrag Mijatović, became ammong the most proemiment Yugoslav players of all time.

Initially, in the period between the two world wars, football in Montenegro at club level was marked by the rivalry between the two major clubs, SK Crnogorac from Cetinje, and SK Balšić from Podgorica.[4] Before the Second World War Crnogorac was the only Montenegrin club to play in the Yugoslav Championship, and it was only in one occasion, in the 1935–36 edition which was played in a cup system.

Later, after 1945, the best Montenegrin clubs usually played in the Yugoslav First League. The Montenegrin Republic League was the highest league played on a Montenegrin level. It formed part of the third or fourth (depending on exact period) tier of football in Yugoslavia. The Montenegrin First League was formed in 2004 as local second tier, and after Montenegrin independence, in 2006, it became country's top level.

2006 FIFA World Cup[edit]

Following Montenegro's independence in June 2006, the Serbia team was seen as the successors to the Serbia and Montenegro team. However, at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, held in the latter half of June and in July 2006, Serbia and Montenegro continued to play, representing the two independent states of Serbia and Montenegro. Despite an impressive record in qualification for the tournament, the team struggled in a tough first round group and were eliminated having won no games, conceded ten goals and scored just two. After the tournament, the team disbanded and was replaced by Serbia.

Post-independence[edit]

The Football Association of Montenegro had been in existent as a sub-federation since 1931, but applied for independent membership of FIFA and UEFA on June 30, 2006. Full membership of UEFA was given in January 2007. Meanwhile, the association had continued to run the Montenegrin First League as the new country’s premier football competition. The winners of this will enter European competition in 2007. The new national team was organised and its first fixture was against Hungary in Podgorica on March 24, 2007. The Montenegrin side won the match 2-1.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "When Saturday Comes - Montenegro". Wsc.co.uk. 2012-07-09. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  2. ^ "Montenegro's Rapid Ascent Stuns England". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  3. ^ "Hey, Mirko Vucinic, Show Us Your Underalls". The New York Times. Retrieved 2015-03-11. 
  4. ^ Sportista, n 13, Belgrade 18 July 1924, page 1