Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
BH Telecom Premier League BIH logo.jpg
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Confederation UEFA
Founded 2000
First season 2000–01
Number of teams 12
Level on pyramid 1
Relegation to First League of FBiH
First League of RS
Domestic cup(s) Bosnian Cup
International cup(s) Champions League
Europa League
Current champions Zrinjski (5)
(2016–17)
TV partners BHRT (BHT 1)
Arena Sport
Moja TV
Website http://www.nfsbih.ba
2016–17 season

The BH Telecom Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Serbian: BH Telecom Premijer liga Bosne i Hercegovine / БХ Телеком Премијер лига Босне и Херцеговине), also known as Liga 12, is the top tier football league in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and is operated by the Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As the country's most prestigious level of football competition, league changed format since 2016–17 season and is contested by 12 clubs with last two teams relegated at the end of every season.

The League is, as of season 2017–18, represented by four clubs in European competition. The winner of the Premier League starts from the Champions League second qualifying round. The winner of the Football Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as the runner up and third placed team on table starts from the first qualifying round of Europa League.

At the end of the season bottom two teams are relegated while winners of First League of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and First League of the Republika Srpska are promoted to the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

History[edit]

War period 1992–1996[edit]

After a breakup of Yugoslavia Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaimed independence in late winter 1992, and already in April same year N/FSBiH applied for membership with FIFA and UEFA.[1] Meanwhile, due to the outbreak of Bosnian War in April 1992 no games were played in the 1992–93 season. In late 1993 some parts of the country re-launched football competitions with reduced scope. 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 only Croatian clubs competed on parochial scale within the limits of West Herzegovina and few other enclaves. In the same year Bosnian Serbs also organized their own First League of the Republika Srpska, on a territory held by Republika Srpska regime at the time. Only football on a territory under the control of then Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina institutions and auspices of N/FSBiH, at the time consequently with Bosniak majority, apart from a brief competition for the season 1994–95 (won by Čelik Zenica), came to a standstill. Competition under auspices of N/FSBiH did not resume until 1995–96 season when the First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina was launched.[1]

Post-war period 1996–2000[edit]

These three separate football leagues were operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina until 1998, and 2000. Since FIFA and UEFA showed support only for the association operating under patronage of the official and internationally recognized state institutions, during the war and prior to Dayton Peace Agreement as well as after its signage, they endorsed unification of all three organizations as N/FSBiH. This also came as a consequence of FIFA decision to recognize N/FSBiH already in July 1996, while in the same year UEFA admitted N/FSBiH as an adjacent member until 1998 when they recognized its full membership. This meant that only N/FSBiH clubs and its national team could compete at the international and official level.[1]

Final unification has been preceded by several stages. At first was created a playoff where clubs were playing for the champion under N/FSBiH auspices. Idea was that playoff under unified N/FSBiH auspices should bring together clubs competing under three separate organizations for the first time but was rejected by Serb association, leaving clubs from Croat football association and N/FSBiH participating playoff for the seasons 1997–98 and 1999–00, while 1998–99 playoff was canceled due to Croat's association hesitation on the decision on which stadiums games should be played. Next season playoff was resumed for the last time prior to full and final agreement on unified N/FSBiH and its competition, Premier League BiH (Premijer Liga), in the fall 2000.

Premier League creation 2000–01[edit]

Full and final agreement on unified N/FSBiH and its competition, Premier League BiH (Premijer Liga), happened in the fall 2000. However, the first 2000–01 season seen clubs from Federation of BiH only, while clubs from Republic of Srpska entity continue to compete in their own separate league as their entity association still refused to join agreed unified N/FSBiH and its new competition. However, UEFA and FIFA never intended to recognize this separate organization nor its competition, which meant clubs couldn't compete outside territory of the entity and wouldn't see any international football. This situation forced clubs to insist that their organization also join N/FSBiH, and two years later they became part of the competition for the season 2002–03. Ever since the year 2000 Premier League is the top tier of Bosnia and Herzegovina football, with two entity-based leagues, First League of Republika Srpska and First League of the Federation of BiH, being pushed to the second tier of the football pyramid and serve as feeder leagues to Premier League.[1]

Premier League as Liga 12 2016–17[edit]

Starting with the 2016–17 season BH Telecom Premier League has changed its format entirely, reducing a number of clubs from 16 to 12, thus sometimes referred to as "Liga 12" (League 12), with the calendar also modified accordingly, and introducing playoffs (also known as the "title playoffs") and play out. Number of matches is played by each club during regular season after which, according to their position, they enter to play-offs or play out. Playoffs are contested by the top 6 clubs in the regular season, with each club playing each other twice for the title, which guarantee Champions League qualifications, second and third place, guaranteeing Europa League qualifications berths. Play out is contested by six clubs to avoid relegation with last two teams being relegated.

Sponsorship[edit]

On 31 July 2012, Football Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina signed a two-year deal with BH Telecom regarding the sponsorship of the league, effectively renaming the league BH Telecom Premier League.[2] The deal was extended once more before the start of 2014–15 season.

2017-18 Member Clubs[edit]

Location of the 2017–18 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina clubs
Team Location Stadium Capacity[3]
FK Borac Banja Luka Banja Luka Gradski stadion Banja Luka 9.730
NK Čelik Zenica Zenica Bilino Polje 13.862
NK GOŠK Gabela Gabela Podavala 3.000
FK Krupa Krupa na Vrbasu Gradski stadion Krupa 2.000
FK Mladost Doboj Kakanj Doboj (Kakanj) MGM Farm Arena 3.000
FK Radnik Bijeljina Bijeljina Gradski stadion Bijeljina 4.000
FK Sarajevo Sarajevo Asim Ferhatović Hase 34.500
FK Sloboda Tuzla Tuzla Tušanj 7.500
NK Široki Brijeg Široki Brijeg Pecara 5.628
NK Vitez Vitez Gradski stadion Vitez 3.000
HŠK Zrinjski Mostar Mostar Bijeli Brijeg 15.000
FK Željezničar Sarajevo Sarajevo Grbavica 13.449

Rankings[edit]

Source: Bert Kassies' website (country rankings; team rankings)

Bosnia and Herzegovina Champions[edit]

Champions of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

  • 1994–95 - Čelik - "Champion of BiH"
  • 1995–96 - Čelik - "Champion of BiH"
  • 1996–97 - Čelik - "Champion of BiH"
  • 1997–98 - Bosna Visoko - "Champion of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina"
  • 1998–99 - FK Sarajevo - "Champion of BiH"
  • 1999–00 - Jedinstvo Bihać - "Champion of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina"

Champions of First League of Herzeg-Bosnia

  • 1993–94 - Široki Brijeg[4] – Mario Prskalo (10 goals, Široki Brijeg)
  • 1994–95 - Široki Brijeg – Anđelko Marušić (15, Široki Brijeg)
  • 1995–96 - Široki Brijeg – Mario Marušić (15, Grude), Dejan Džepina (15, Novi Travnik)
  • 1996–97 - Široki Brijeg – Anđelko Marušić (21, Široki Brijeg)
  • 1997–98 - Široki Brijeg – Stanko Bubalo (31, Široki Brijeg)
  • 1998–99 - Posušje – Slađan Filipović (19, Široki Brijeg)
  • 1999–00 - Posušje – Robert Ristovski (18, Kiseljak)

Champions of First League of the Republika Srpska

Season Champion Runners Up Top Goalscorer Club Goals
1995–96 Boksit Milići Rudar Prijedor Bosnia and Herzegovina Siniša Đurić
Bosnia and Herzegovina Zoran Majstorović
Kozara Gradiška
Boksit Milići
16 Goals
16 Goals
1996–97 Rudar Ugljevik Sloga Trn Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Zgonjanin
Marić
Sloga Trn
Glasinac Sokolac
14 Goals
14 Goals
1997–98 Rudar Ugljevik Borac Banja Luka Nikola Bala Rudar Ugljevik 31 Goals
1998–99 Radnik Bijeljina Rudar Ugljevik Bosnia and Herzegovina Mladen Zgonjanin Sloga Trn 23 Goals
1999–00 Boksit Milići Rudar Ugljevik Nedo Zdjelar Sloboda Novi Grad 29 Goals
2000–01 Borac Banja Luka Sloboda Novi Grad Bosnia and Herzegovina Milanko Đerić Boksit Milići 26 Goals
2001–02 Leotar Trebinje Kozara Gradiška Serbia Pavle Delibašić
Siniša Jovanović
Leotar Trebinje
Glasinac Sokolac
21 Goals
21 Goals

Champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Listing seasons (aside of 1998–99 season) before the creation of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina where the champion was decided via a play-off played between best placed clubs who played in First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and First League of Herzeg-Bosnia (without clubs from First League of the Republika Srpska).

Season Winner of play-off Runners-up of play-off Top scorer(s) of play-off
Player(s) (Club) Goals
1997–981 Željezničar Sarajevo ? ?
?
1998–992
Three regional winners (Sarajevo, Posušje and Radnik)
1999–003 Brotnjo Budućnost ? ?
?

1 A play-off between the best placed teams of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and First League of Herzeg-Bosnia was played; without clubs from First League of Republika Srpska. The best two clubs got the right to play in 1998–99 UEFA Cup.
2 Play-off was scheduled but was later canceled because of stadium issues. Three different leagues played, no play-off contested, therefor no club got the right to play in European competition.
3 A play-off between the best placed teams of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and First League of Herzeg-Bosnia was played without clubs from First League of Republika Srpska. Three clubs got the right to play in European competition.

Premier League Champions[edit]

Since 2000/2001 season the first tier of Bosnia and Herzegovina football competition became Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Season Champions
(Premier League titles)
Runners-up Third place Top scorer(s)
Player(s) (Club) Goals
2000–011 Željezničar (1) Brotnjo Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Dž. Muharemović (Željezničar)
31
2001–021 Željezničar (2) Široki Brijeg Brotnjo Bosnia and Herzegovina Ivica Huljev (Željezničar)
15
2002–03 Leotar (1) Željezničar Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Emir Obuća (Sarajevo)
24
2003–04 Široki Brijeg (1) Željezničar Sarajevo Bosnia and Herzegovina Alen Škoro (Sarajevo)
20
2004–05 Zrinjski (1) Željezničar Široki Brijeg Serbia and Montenegro Zoran Rajović (Zrinjski)
17
2005–06 Široki Brijeg (2) Sarajevo Zrinjski Bosnia and Herzegovina Petar Jelić (Modriča)
19
2006–07 Sarajevo (1) Zrinjski Slavija Bosnia and Herzegovina Stevo Nikolić (Modriča)
Bosnia and Herzegovina Dragan Benić (Borac)
19
2007–08 Modriča (1) Široki Brijeg Čelik Zenica Serbia Darko Spalević (Slavija)
18
2008–09 Zrinjski (2) Slavija Sloboda Tuzla Serbia Darko Spalević (Slavija)
17
2009–10 Željezničar (3) Široki Brijeg Borac Bosnia and Herzegovina Feđa Dudić (Travnik)
16
2010–11 Borac (1) Sarajevo Željezničar Croatia Ivan Lendrić (Zrinjski)
16
2011–12 Željezničar (4) Široki Brijeg Borac Bosnia and Herzegovina Eldin Adilović (Željezničar)
19
2012–13 Željezničar (5) Sarajevo Borac Bosnia and Herzegovina Emir Hadžić (Sarajevo)
20
2013–14 Zrinjski (3) Široki Brijeg Sarajevo Brazil Wagner Lago (Široki Brijeg)
18
2014–15 Sarajevo (2) Željezničar Zrinjski Bosnia and Herzegovina Riad Bajić (Željezničar)
15
2015–16 Zrinjski (4) Sloboda Tuzla Široki Brijeg Croatia Leon Benko (Sarajevo)
17
2016–17 Zrinjski (5) Željezničar Sarajevo Croatia Ivan Lendrić (Željezničar)
19
2017–18
0League champions also won the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup, i.e. the domestic Double.0

1 Played without clubs from Republika Srpska entity of BiH which only joined the league since 2002.

Times finished in first three[edit]

Counting since when the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina is played and recognized by UEFA, season 2000-01

Club Winners Runner-up Third place Times finished in first three
Željezničar
5
5
1
11
Zrinjski
5
2
1
8
Široki Brijeg
2
5
2
9
Sarajevo
2
3
5
10
Borac
1
0
3
4
Leotar
1
0
0
1
Modriča
1
0
0
1
Brotnjo
0
1
1
2
Slavija
0
1
1
2
Sloboda
0
1
1
2
Čelik
0
0
1
1

Cities[edit]

The following table lists the champions by cities; Counting since when the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina is played and recognized by UEFA, season 2000-01

City Titles Winning Clubs
Sarajevo
7
Željezničar (5), Sarajevo (2)
Mostar
5
Zrinjski (5)
Široki Brijeg
2
Široki Brijeg (2)
Trebinje
1
Leotar (1)
Modriča
1
Modriča (1)
Banja Luka
1
Borac (1)

Notable Performances in Europe[edit]

In the qualifiers for the UEFA Champions League season 2002–03, Željezničar gained the greatest success in Bosnian post-war club-football so far, going all the way to the last qualifying round for the most important club competition in Europe. After big wins over ÍA Akraness and Lillestrøm, however they were held by Newcastle United. In the first match, held in Sarajevo, Newcastle won 0–1 with English team defeating Željezničar 4–0 in England.

The second time a Bosnian club moved into the last qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League was FK Sarajevo in 2007–08, when they lost to Dynamo Kyiv 0–4 on aggregate, after going over Maltese Marsaxlokk and Belgian side Genk.

Another remarkable season for Bosnian clubs in Europe was 2009–10. The most memorable performances were marked by FK Sarajevo and Slavija. While Slavija surprisingly beat Aalborg in the Second Qualifying round but couldn't overcome MFK Košice in the third round, FK Sarajevo was able to reach the Play-offs for the Group Stage of the newly formed UEFA Europa League after beating Spartak Trnava and Helsingborg. However, they lost there unhappily 3–2 on aggregate to CFR Cluj. FK Sarajevo made it again in 2014–15 UEFA Europa League playing all the way to the play-off round where they lost from Borussia Mönchengladbach.

All time table of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Counting only since 2002–03 season, the season the league became a unified country-wide league.
As of the end of 2016–17 season.

Ssn = Number of seasons; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points; HF = Highest finish

Rank
Club
Town
Ssn
Pld
W
D
L
GF
GA
GD
Pts
HF
1 Željezničar Sarajevo 15 460 253 95 112 728 401 +327 854 1
2 Sarajevo Sarajevo 15 460 245 110 105 757 401 +356 845 1
3 Široki Brijeg Široki Brijeg 15 460 237 96 127 740 450 +290 807 1
4 Zrinjski Mostar 15 460 238 83 139 715 506 +209 796 (-1) 1
5 Čelik Zenica 15 460 171 115 174 531 525 +6 628 3
6 Sloboda Tuzla 13 400 169 71 160 459 455 +4 578 2
7 Borac Banja Luka 12 368 172 59 137 468 389 +79 574 (-1) 1
8 Leotar Trebinje 12 368 149 51 168 450 525 -75 498 1
9 Slavija Istočno Sarajevo 12 360 137 65 158 416 493 -77 476 2
10 Travnik Travnik 12 360 122 64 174 422 538 -116 430 5
11 Velež Mostar 11 338 117 65 156 385 448 -63 416 5
12 Olimpic Sarajevo 8 242 93 63 86 287 275 +12 342 5
13 Modriča Modriča 7 210 87 34 89 298 290 +8 295 1
14 Orašje Orašje 7 218 85 33 100 307 325 -18 288 7
15 Posušje Posušje 7 218 82 34 102 264 347 -83 280 9
16 Zvijezda Gradačac 7 210 70 49 91 248 304 -56 259 7
17 Radnik Bijeljina 7 212 67 49 96 214 290 -76 250 6
18 Žepče Žepče 6 188 62 32 94 192 274 -82 218 8
19 Rudar (P) Prijedor 6 180 52 45 83 179 238 -59 201 10
20 Jedinstvo Bihać 4 128 53 14 61 171 203 -32 173 7
21 Budućnost Banovići 4 128 39 21 68 139 199 -60 138 8
22 Vitez Vitez 4 122 36 28 58 111 153 -42 136 9
23 Laktaši Laktaši 3 90 35 14 41 122 125 -3 119 8
24 Rudar (U) Ugljevik 3 98 34 14 50 118 143 -25 116 9
25 Glasinac Sokolac 2 68 25 10 33 71 103 -32 85 14
26 Mladost (DK) Doboj, Kakanj 2 62 18 22 22 71 84 -13 76 8
27 Drina Zvornik 3 90 20 12 58 68 159 -91 72 13
28 Brotnjo Čitluk 2 68 19 14 35 76 114 -38 71 13
29 Kozara Gradiška 2 68 19 13 36 74 107 -33 70 15
30 GOŠK Gabela 2 60 15 18 27 55 85 -30 63 13
31 Mladost (VO) Velika Obarska 2 60 14 17 29 42 82 -40 59 11
32 Krupa Krupa na Vrbasu 1 32 12 10 10 40 34 +6 46 4
33 Mladost (G) Gacko 1 38 11 6 21 40 65 -25 39 18
34 Metalleghe Jajce 1 32 7 11 14 25 34 -9 32 11
35 Bosna Visoko 1 38 4 1 33 28 107 -79 13 20
36 Gradina Srebrenik 1 30 1 6 23 17 57 -40 9 16

1 In the 2004–05 season, Borac Banja Luka was deducted 1 point (Slavija was awarded 3–0 vs Borac Banja Luka in week 11).
2 In the 2006–07 season, Zrinjski was deducted 1 point (Orašje was awarded 3–0 vs Zrinjski).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "N/FSBiH History". www.nfsbih.ba. N/FSBiH. Retrieved 27 December 2016. 
  2. ^ "BH Telecom the first ever sponsor of the Premier League, signing a two year deal!" (in Bosnian). SportSport.ba. Retrieved 31 July 2012. 
  3. ^ "Capacity of stadiums of the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina". Soccerway. Retrieved 29 May 2017. 
  4. ^ Zlatne godine page 138

External links[edit]