History of the Football Association of Serbia

Serbia met football in the spring of 1896. After returning from school in Germany, the Jew Hugo Buli brought the first soccer ball to Belgrade. He did not place the souvenir from his student days among the valuables brought from Berlin, but took the ball to friends from the Belgrade Gymnastics Association “Soko” and insisted that the youth be interested in a new game on May 12, 1896, he founded the Ball Section.

Serbia proved to be a fertile ground for a new game, and soon, on May 19, the people of Belgrade saw the first football match. In the area near the Nebojsa Tower below Kalemegdan, members of the Ball Section of the Gymnastics Association “Soko” showed their fellow citizens a new game. The newspaper also reported about this event, noting that the game is useful for young men because it helps develop muscles.

The date of the first football match is recorded and well-remembered, however, significant historical events have caused a change in the data. That important day for Serbian football and sports, in general, is written according to the Julian calendar. Today we measure the time in Gregorian and due to the difference of 13 days in relation to the older calendar, the celebration is moved to the end of the month.

The first ball and the first game conditioned gatherings in organizations and clubs. On May 1, 1899, on the initiative of Hugo Bulija and the support of Andre Nikolić, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, the Founding Assembly of the First Serbian Ball Society was held in the “Trade Café”. Feti Bey, the Turkish ambassador in Belgrade, was elected president, and lawyer Mihailo Zivadinovic was elected vice president. On that day, the foundation was laid for the construction of the Serbian “football house”.

In the spring of 1899, the first football field was built in “Hyde Park” on Topčiderski brd, and on May 23 of the same year, the first match between two teams of members of the ball society was played on it. no one knew. The problems disappeared when in 1905 Anastas Sr. Hristodulo published a booklet “Balling with his foot”, a translation of football rules from German.

The greatest influence on the development of football in Serbia was exerted by players who returned to their homeland after studying abroad. They brought home knowledge, but also sports habits, so as their number increased over time, so did the need to gather in real football clubs.

The first football club was founded at the beginning of the twentieth century, but it is unclear to whom such a part belongs. On May 3, 1901, the Sports and Athletic Club “Bačka” was founded in Subotica. More than two years later, on September 14, 1903, “Šumadija” was born in Kragujevac. It is obvious that the club from Subotica is older, however, the timid history has broken the strings. At the time of the founding of “Bačka”, Subotica was part of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. Kragujevac, however, was on Serbian soil. In the end, all that remained was to resort to terminological dribbling: “Bačka” is the oldest club in Serbia, and “Šumadija” is the oldest Serbian club.

The oldest football clubs in Serbia

The debate over which football club is the oldest in Serbia has been in force for a long time, due to historical facts. In May 1901, the Sports and Athletic Club Bačka was founded in Subotica, a city then under Austro-Hungarian rule, and in Belgrade, SK Soko, today’s FK BASK (Belgrade Academic Sports Club), was founded on April 18, 1903, and in September In 1903, Šumadija was founded in Kragujevac.
FC BASK is a football club from Belgrade, Serbia. The club was founded on April 18, 1903, and was the oldest club in Serbia, today it is the second oldest. Namely, on May 3, 1901, the Backa Sports Athletic Club was founded in Subotica, with Subotica being part of Austria-Hungary at the time.

He is currently competing in the Serbian League Belgrade, the third competitive level of Serbian football.

This was followed by the founding of the Serbian Sword, Sokol, Dušan Silni, as well as the more dominant club BSK (Belgrade Sports Club), founded in 1911, which won five titles of champion of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia until the Second World War.

When the regional football division was formed in 1919, conditions were created for the formation of a larger number of clubs, so that by 1930, 51 clubs were founded in Belgrade alone (according to the data of the Football Association of Serbia). Ten years earlier, the first championship of city clubs was played, and three years later, the first state championship.

All this happened long before the Red Star (March 9, 1945) and Partizan (October 4, 1945) were formed.

You have either never heard of many of these clubs or, provided you are more familiar with the football situation in Serbia, you have forgotten about them because they have been in the lower leagues for a long time.

Thus, in 1926, FK Polimlje was founded in Prijepolje. Today, he performs in the Drina zone, and Mihajlo Pjanović and Ivica Dragutinović made their pre-football steps there. Two years ago, the City Stadium, where the football players of Polimlje play, was completely reconstructed, from the field to the stands and locker rooms.

Four years earlier in the west of the country, the football club Radjevac was founded in Krupanj as part of a sports association by prominent locals, military lieutenants, lawyers, pharmacists… The club is performing today in the Drina zone.


In the vicinity of Subotica, the Preporod club was formed in 1939, specifically in Novi Žednik. This club is proud that their jersey was worn by Živko Slijepčević to Aco Nosković. In March 2011, the combined team of the Spartak Super League welcomed the revival at home, and for the first time in history, they won a 2: 1 victory over a Super League.

You may not have heard of Tekstilac from Odžak, but it has existed since 1919, and it is the first club in Yugoslavia to play a match under the spotlight, against Rapid Vienna. At that time, the Odžaci club, born out of pure love for the new game, was called the Odžaci Sports Club, and it had one of the best stadiums (“Ivo Lola Ribar”).

In the settlement of Grošnice, a team of the same name was formed in 1943, which in 1981 changed its name to Vodojaža, after the lake of the same name in the Šumadija district. The greatest success in the history of the club is its placement in the Serbian League, in the 1994/95 season.

We are not sure how much you know about the football club “LSK”, founded in 1928 in Laćark, as a team of workers from “Varde”, part of Laćark. LSK’s stadium was located on “Varda” for about 20 years until it was assigned the land on which the stadium is located today. The capacity of the stadium is 300 spectators.

In the municipality of Plandište, the 70th birthday of the Hajdučica football club was celebrated in 2008, to which Countess Olga Jovanović has been sending white football boots since its inception. The club competed in the South Banat League, and at the end of 2007 it was completely renovated, and the field was then given a drainage system.

There are still a handful of clubs where all those who loved the game in its infancy gathered, just because of the way it is, and who manage in various ways to preserve what history has left them at any level. As a last resort, football in our country first started to be played in those clubs.

Clubs older than Zvezda and Partizan
Super League
Club – year of foundation

1. Voždovac – 1912
2. Vojvodina – 1914
3. Radnicki Kragujevac – 1923.
4. Radnicki Nis – 1923.
5. Borac Cacak – 1926.
6. Čukarički – 1926
7. Donji Srem – 1927
8. Novi Pazar – 1928

First League
1. Maple – 1912
2. Kolubara – 1919.
3. Macva Sabac – 1919
4. Bežanija – 1921
5. Radnicki Surdulica 1926.
6. Indjija – 1933
7. Sindjelic – 1937
8. BSK Borča -1937.

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