Bosnia and Herzegovina football league system

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The Bosnia and Herzegovina football league system is a series of connected leagues for football clubs in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This system has a hierarchical format with promotion and relegation between leagues at different levels. The top division is organized by Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the second and third level by entity associations, and lower levels by cantonal or regional associations.

Structure[edit]

Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina is at the top of the structure. It is the top flight in Bosnian club football and has 16 teams. The League champion is also the champion of Bosnia and Herzegovina and it gets the right to play in the UEFA Champions League qualifying rounds. The bottom two teams of the table are relegated to the second level of competition.

The second tier is divided into two leagues - First League of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and First League of the Republika Srpska, the first containing 16 clubs and the second 12 clubs. Relegated teams from the Premier League are demoted to the second level competition for the next season. Geographical location is the criteria for the decision in which one of these two leagues they will play. Winner of the league is promoted to Premier League, and bottom teams are relegated. The number of relegated teams depends on how many teams are entering from the Premier League and the Third Divisions.

Third level football is even more dispersed. Each league is associated with a different geographical area. In Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are four second divisions, and in Republika Srpska two second divisions. Same principle of promotion and relegation is used, so the league winners are promoted to the appropriate second level league, and clubs at the bottom of the table are relegated to lower levels.

In Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are ten cantons, contesting nine leagues, organized by cantonal football associations. Depending on how many clubs they have, cantons can have one or more leagues. In Republika Srpska, there are no cantons, but four football regions, each having a league. The First cantonal leagues in the Federation and regional leagues in Republika Srpska comprise the fourth level of club football.

Further down, there are big differences in organization. Some cantons (with big number of clubs) have second leagues. If there are clubs not associated with any of these leagues, municipality or intermunicipality leagues are organized.

System[edit]

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
12 clubs

2

First League of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina
16 clubs

First League of the Republika Srpska
12 clubs

3

Second league of the FBH - North
16 clubs

Second league of the FBH - Center
16 clubs

Second league of the FBH - South
16 clubs

Second league of the FBH - West
12 clubs

Second league of RS - West
16 clubs

Second league of RS - East
16 clubs

4

First league of Tuzla Canton (16 clubs)
First League of Posavina Canton

League of Sarajevo Canton (20 clubs in 2 groups)
League of Zenica-Doboj Canton (8 clubs)
League of Bosnian Podrinje Canton

Intercantonal league Canton 10/West Herzegovina Canton (6 clubs)
League of Hercegovina-Neretva Canton (9 clubs)

First League of Central Bosnia Canton (10 clubs)
League of Una-Sana Canton (12 clubs)

Regional league of RS - West
(16 clubs)
Regional league of RS - Center
(14 clubs)

Regional league of RS - East
(14 clubs)
Regional league of RS - South
(4 clubs)

5

Second league of Tuzla Canton - West (14 clubs)
Second league of Tuzla Canton - North (14 clubs)
Second League of Tuzla Canton - South (14 clubs)
Second of Central Bosnia Canton (7 clubs)

Regional league Banja Luka (14 clubs)
Regional league Gradiška (14 clubs)
Regional league Prijedor (12 clubs)
Regional league Doboj (14 clubs)
Fourth league Posavina (14 clubs)
Fourth league Semberija (14 clubs)
Regional league Birač (10 clubs)

6

Municipal league Gradiška (14 clubs)
Intermunicipal league Laktaši-Srbac-Prnjavor (8 clubs)
Intermunicipal league Prijedor (10 clubs)
Intermunicipal league Doboj (14 clubs)
Intermunicipal league Modriča (8 clubs)
Intermunicipal league Šamac (6 clubs)
First league of the municipal football association of Brčko District (8 clubs)
First municipal league Bijeljina - West (12 clubs)
First municipal league Bijeljina - East (12 clubs)
Municipal league Ugljevik (4 clubs)

7

Second municipal league Bijeljina - West (8 clubs)
Second municipal league Bijeljina - East (8 clubs)

Cup competition[edit]

The Cup starts in spring, when lower league teams are playing qualification games. At the beginning the competition is organized by cantonal and regional football associations. By September every canton or region will have representatives in the first round (Last 32) of the Bosnian Cup. Sixteen clubs from qualifying and sixteen Premier League clubs will enter a draw. Only one leg is played in the first round, and two legs in later stages. The Final is also being played over two legs, although the Football Association changes this rule often. Sometimes, only one leg is played in Sarajevo, on Koševo Stadium.

Some cantons use qualifications as a cantonal cup as well. There is also a cup competition in Republika Srpska (also seen as a "league cup").