Yugoslav First League
Kingdom of Yugoslavia
SFR Yugoslavia
Relegation To
Yugoslav Second League
Number of Seasons
Level on Pyramid
Level 1
Yugoslav Cup
Last Champions 1991-92
Crvena Zvezda
Replaced by
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)
Prva HNL
1. MFL
1. SNL

The Yugoslav First League (Serbo-Croat: Prva Liga, Пpвa Лигa) 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.

Kingdom of Yugoslavia (1923-1940) Edit

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,[1] 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.[2] With the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia, separate Croatian and Serbian leagues were established, which operated during the World War II.

Champions and top scorers Edit

Season Format Champions Runners up Top scorer(s) [3] Goals
1923 Cup tournament
(Single round-robin; 6 clubs)
Građanski Zagreb SAŠK Sarajevo Dragan Jovanović
(Jugoslavija Beograd)
1924 Cup tournament
(Single round-robin; 7 clubs)
Jugoslavija Beograd Hajduk Split Dragan Jovanović
(Jugoslavija Beograd)
1925 Cup tournament
(Single round-robin; 7 clubs)
  Jugoslavija Beograd   Građanski Zagreb Dragan Jovanović
(Jugoslavija Beograd)
1926 Cup tournament
(Single round-robin; 7 clubs)
Građanski Zagreb Jugoslavija Beograd Dušan Petković
(Jugoslavija Beograd)
1927 League
(Single round-robin; 6 clubs)
Hajduk Split BSK Beograd Kuzman Sotirović
(BSK Beograd)
1928 League
{Single round-robin; 6 clubs)
Građanski Zagreb Hajduk Split Ljubo Benčić
(Hajduk Split)
1929 League
(Double round-robin; 5 clubs)
Hajduk Split BSK Beograd Đorđe Vujadinović
(BSK Beograd)
1930 League
(Double round-robin; 6 clubs)
Concordia Zagreb   Jugoslavija Beograd   Blagoje Marjanović
(BSK Beograd)
1930–31 League
(Double round-robin; 6 clubs)
BSK Beograd Concordia Zagreb Đorđe Vujadinović
(BSK Beograd)
1931–32 Cup tournament
(Double round-robin; 8 clubs)
Concordia Zagreb Hajduk Split Svetislav Valjarević
(Concordia Zagreb)
1932–33 League
(Double round-robin; 11 clubs)
BSK Beograd Hajduk Split Vladimir Kragić
(Hajduk Split)
1933–34 National championship
was not played.
1934–35 League
(Double round-robin; 10 clubs)
BSK Beograd Jugoslavija Beograd Leo Lemešić
(Hajduk Split)
1935–36 Cup tournament
(Double round-robin; 14 clubs)
BSK Beograd Slavija Sarajevo Blagoje Marjanović
(BSK Beograd)
1936–37 League
(Double round-robin; 10 clubs)
Građanski Zagreb Hajduk Split Blagoje Marjanović
(BSK Beograd)
1937–38 League
(Double round-robin; 10 clubs)
HAŠK Zagreb BSK Beograd August Lešnik
(Građanski Zagreb)
1938–39 League
(Double round-robin; 12 clubs)
BSK Beograd Građanski Zagreb August Lešnik
(Građanski Zagreb)
1939–40 League [4]
(Double round-robin; 6 clubs)
Građanski Zagreb BSK Beograd Svetislav Glišović
(BSK Beograd)

Performance by clubsEdit

# Club Champions Runners up
  1    BSK Beograd  5 4
2 Građanski Zagreb 5 2
3 Hajduk Split 2 5
4 Jugoslavija Beograd 2 3
5 Concordia Zagreb 2 1
6 HAŠK Zagreb 1 0
7 Slavija Sarajevo 0 1
8 SAŠK Sarajevo 0 1

SFR Yugoslavia (1945–1992)Edit

Champions and top scorersEdit

Season Champions Runners up Third place Top scorer(s) Goals
1945 [1] SR Serbia JNA SR Croatia Stjepan Bobek (JNA) 8
1946–47 Partizan Dinamo Zagreb Red Star Franjo Wölfl (Dinamo Zagreb) 28
1947–48 Dinamo Zagreb Hajduk Split Partizan Franjo Wölfl (Dinamo Zagreb) 22
1948–49 Partizan Red Star Hajduk Split Frane Matošić (Hajduk Split) 17
1950 Hajduk Split Red Star Partizan Marko Valok (Partizan) 17
1951 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Hajduk Split Kosta Tomašević (Red Star) 16
1952 Hajduk Split Red Star Lokomotiva Stanoje Jocić (BSK Belgrade) 13
1952–53 Red Star Hajduk Split Partizan Todor Živanović (Red Star) 17
1953–54 Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Red Star Stjepan Bobek (Partizan) 21
1954–55 Hajduk Split BSK Belgrade Dinamo Zagreb Predrag Marković (BSK Belgrade)
Kosta Tomašević (Spartak Subotica)
Bernard Vukas (Hajduk Split)
1955–56 Red Star Partizan Radnički Belgrade Muhamed Mujić (Velež Mostar)
Tihomir Ognjanov (Spartak Subotica)
Todor Veselinović (Vojvodina)
1956–57 Red Star Vojvodina Hajduk Split Todor Veselinović (Vojvodina) 28
1957–58 Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Radnički Belgrade Todor Veselinović (Vojvodina) 19
1958–59 Red Star Partizan Vojvodina Bora Kostić (Red Star) 25
1959–60 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Bora Kostić (Red Star) 19
1960–61 Partizan Red Star Hajduk Split Zoran Prljinčević (Radnički Belgrade)
Todor Veselinović (Vojvodina)
1961–62 Partizan Vojvodina Dinamo Zagreb Dražan Jerković (Dinamo Zagreb) 16
1962–63 Partizan Dinamo Zagreb Željezničar Sarajevo Mišo Smajlović (Željezničar Sarajevo) 18
1963–64 Red Star OFK Belgrade Dinamo Zagreb Asim Ferhatović ([[FK Sarajevo]) 19
1964–65 Partizan FK Sarajevo Red Star Zlatko Dračić (NK Zagreb) 23
1965–66 Vojvodina Dinamo Zagreb Velež Mostar Petar Nadoveza (Hajduk Split) 21
1966–67 FK Sarajevo Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Mustafa Hasanagić (Partizan) 18
1967–68 Red Star Partizan Dinamo Zagreb Slobodan Santrač (OFK Belgrade) 22
1968–69 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Vojin Lazarević (Red Star) 22
1969–70 Red Star Partizan Velež Mostar Slobodan Santrač (OFK Belgrade)
Dušan Bajević (Velež Mostar)
1970–71 Hajduk Split Željezničar Sarajevo Dinamo Zagreb Petar Nadoveza (Hajduk Split)
Božo Janković (Željezničar Sarajevo)
1971–72 Željezničar Sarajevo Red Star OFK Belgrade Slobodan Santrač (OFK Belgrade) 33
1972–73 Red Star Velež Mostar OFK Belgrade Slobodan Santrač (OFK Belgrade)
Vojin Lazarević (Red Star)
1973–74 Hajduk Split Velež Mostar Red Star Danilo Popivoda (Olimpija Ljubljana) 17
1974–75 Hajduk Split Vojvodina Red Star Dušan Savić (Red Star)
Boško Đorđević (Partizan)
1975–76 Partizan Hajduk Split Dinamo Zagreb Nenad Bjeković (Partizan) 24
1976–77 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Sloboda Tuzla Zoran Filipović (Red Star) 21
1977–78 Partizan Red Star Hajduk Split Radomir Savić (Sarajevo) 21
1978–79 Hajduk Split Dinamo Zagreb Red Star Dušan Savić (Red Star) 24
1979–80 Red Star FK Sarajevo Radnički Niš Safet Sušić (Sarajevo)
Dragoljub Kostić (Napredak Kruševac)
1980–81 Red Star Hajduk Split Radnički Niš Milan Radović (Rijeka) 26
1981–82 Dinamo Zagreb Red Star Hajduk Split Snješko Cerin (Dinamo Zagreb) 19
1982–83 Partizan Hajduk Split Dinamo Zagreb Sulejman Halilović (Dinamo Vinkovci) 18
1983–84 Red Star Partizan Željezničar Sarajevo Darko Pančev (Vardar) 19
1984–85 FK Sarajevo Hajduk Split Partizan Zlatko Vujović (Hajduk Split) 25
1985–86 Partizan [5] Red Star Velež Mostar Davor Čop (Dinamo Vinkovci) 20
1986–87 Partizan [6] Velež Mostar Red Star Radmilo Mihajlović (Željezničar Sarajevo) 23
1987–88 Red Star Partizan Velež Mostar Duško Milinković (Rad Belgrade) 16
1988–89 Vojvodina Red Star Hajduk Split Davor Šuker (Osijek) 18
1989–90 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Hajduk Split Darko Pančev (Red Star) 25
1990–91 Red Star Dinamo Zagreb Partizan Darko Pančev (Red Star) 34
1991–92 Red Star Partizan Vojvodina Darko Pančev (Red Star) 25

^ A special format tournament was held to re-affirm the newly found Yugoslav unity. The tournament consisted of eight teams; Serbia, Croatia, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and a selection of JNA players.

Titles by clubEdit

Club Titles Winning seasons
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
Vojvodina 2 1965–66, 1988–89
Sarajevo 2 1966–67, 1984–85
Željezničar Sarajevo 1 1971–72

Titles by regionEdit

Region Titles Clubs
SR Serbia
32 Red Star, Partizan, Vojvodina
SR Croatia 11 Hajduk Split, Dinamo Zagreb
SR Bosnia and Herzegovina 3 Sarajevo, Željezničar Sarajevo
SR Macedonia 0
SR Montenegro 0
SR Slovenia 0

Performance by clubEdit

Club Champions Runners-up Third place
Red Star 19 9 7
Partizan 11 9 8
Hajduk Split 7 6 8
Dinamo Zagreb 4 11 7
Vojvodina 2 3 2
Sarajevo 2 2 0
Željezničar Sarajevo 1 1 2
Velež Mostar 0 3 4
OFK Belgrade* 0 2 2
Radnički Belgrade 0 0 2
Radnički Niš 0 0 2
Lokomotiva 0 0 1
Sloboda Tuzla 0 0 1
*Known as BSK Belgrade before 1957

All time top goalscorersEdit

Complete list of players who scored 100 goals or more in the 1946-1992 SFR Yugoslavia period.
Source: RSSSF; Last updated 14 December 2007

# 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 Stjepan Bobek 129 201 0.64 Partizan 1945–1956
=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) Edit

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:

Template:Country data SR Bosnia and Herzegovina
Template:Country data SR Croatia
Template:Country data SR Macedonia
Template:Country data SR Montenegro
Template:Country data SR Serbia
Template:Country data SR Slovenia

Successor leagues Edit

File:Yugoslav First League successors.png

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 Edit

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.

1991–92 season Edit

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. 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 Edit

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 Edit

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 successorsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. "Povijest - počeci" (in Croatian). Croatian Football Federation. Retrieved 2008-06-28.
  2. "Fudbalski savez Srbije - History". Football Association of Serbia. Retrieved 2008-06-28.[dead link]
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Yugoslavia - list of topscorers". RSSSF. 14 December 2007. Retrieved 2008-06-26.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Template:Football in Yugoslavia Template:Yugoslav First League

ca:Lliga iugoslava de futbol

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