Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina
Mtel Premijer Liga.png
Founded2000
First season 2000–01
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
Confederation UEFA
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) UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current champions Borac (2nd title)
(2020–21)
Most championships Željezničar
Zrinjski (6 titles)
Most appearances Wagner Santos Lago (297)
Top goalscorerWagner Santos Lago (125)
TV partners Arena Sport
Website http://www.nfsbih.ba
Current: 2021–22 Premier League

The M:tel Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Bosnian : m:tel Premijer liga Bosne i Hercegovine / м:тел 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, the league changed format in the 2016–17 season and is contested by 12 clubs with the last two teams relegated at the end of every season.

Contents

The League is, as of the 2021–22 season, represented by four clubs in European competition. The winner of the Premier League starts from the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. The winner of the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup as well as the runner up and third placed team on the table starts from the first qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League. From the 2021–22 season, the runner up and third placed team on the table will start from the first qualifying round of the newly established UEFA Europa Conference League.

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

History

War period 1992–1996

After breakup of Yugoslavia, and following proclamation of independence in late winter 1992, Bosnia and Herzegovina clubs left the Yugoslav First League, which ceased to exist after the 1991-92 season. Already in April the 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 Football Federation of Herzeg Bosnia and its 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

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

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 could not compete outside territory of the entity and would not compete internationally. 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 from 2016–17 until 2018–19

During the 2016–17 season and the 2017–18 season BH Telecom Premier League had 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 were played by each club during regular season after which, according to their position, they entered to play-offs or play out. Playoffs were contested by the top 6 clubs in the regular season, with each club playing each other twice for the title, which guarantees Champions League qualifications, second and third place, guaranteeing Europa League qualifications berths. Play out was contested by six clubs to avoid relegation with last two teams being relegated.

Old format since 2018–19

Since the 2018–19 season, the league is not played as the last two seasons before. Actually very simple, after all the 12 clubs play each other two times, once home and once away, they play each other three times, also playing home or away depending on how the schedule is made. With that, the league season has 33 full rounds instead of the 22 rounds and an additional 10 rounds in the relegation and championship games. [2]

Sponsorship

On 31 July 2012, the 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. [3] The deal was extended once more before the start of 2014–15 season. On 24 July 2020, it was announced that Mtel had become the new league sponsor for the next three years with an estimate 23 Million BAM worth, [4] renaming the league m:tel Premier League.

2021–22 Member Clubs

Bosnia and Herzegovina location map.svg
Locations of the 2021–22 Premier League of BiH clubs
TeamLocationStadiumCapacity [5]
FK Borac Banja Luka Banja Luka Banja Luka City Stadium 10,030
FK Leotar Trebinje Police Stadium 8,550
HŠK Posušje Posušje Mokri Dolac Stadium 8,000
FK Radnik Bijeljina Bijeljina Gradski stadion Bijeljina 6,000
FK Rudar Prijedor Prijedor Gradski stadion Prijedor 6,000
FK Sarajevo Sarajevo Asim Ferhatović Hase 34,500
FK Sloboda Tuzla Tuzla Tušanj 7,200
NK Široki Brijeg Široki Brijeg Pecara 7,000
FK Tuzla City Simin Han, Tuzla Tušanj 7,200
FK Velež Mostar Mostar Stadium Rođeni 7,000
HŠK Zrinjski Mostar Mostar Bijeli Brijeg 9,000
FK Željezničar Sarajevo Sarajevo Grbavica 13,449

Rankings

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

Source

Bosnia and Herzegovina Champions

Champions of First League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Champions of First League of Herzeg-Bosnia

Champions of First League of the Republika Srpska

SeasonChampionRunners UpTop GoalscorerClubGoals
1995–96 Boksit Milići Rudar Prijedor Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Siniša Đurić
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Zoran Majstorović
Kozara Gradiška
Boksit Milići
16 Goals
16 Goals
1996–97 Rudar Ugljevik Sloga Trn Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg 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 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Mladen Zgonjanin Sloga Trn 23 Goals
1999–2000 Boksit Milići Rudar Ugljevik Nedo Zdjelar Sloboda Novi Grad 29 Goals
2000–01 Borac Banja Luka Sloboda Novi Grad Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Milanko Đerić Boksit Milići 26 Goals
2001–02 Leotar Kozara Gradiška Flag of Serbia.svg Pavle Delibašić
Siniša Jovanović
Leotar
Glasinac Sokolac
21 Goals
21 Goals

Champions of Bosnia and Herzegovina

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).

SeasonWinner of play-offRunners-up of play-offWinning managerTop scorer(s) of play-off
Player(s) (Club)Goals
1997–98 1 Željezničar (1) Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Enver Hadžiabdić (1) Flag of Croatia.svg Stanko Bubalo (Široki Brijeg)
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992-1998).svg Hadis Zubanović (Željezničar)
3
1998–99 2 Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Nermin Hadžiahmetović (3)
1999–2000 3 Brotnjo (1) Budućnost Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Ivo Ištuk (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Zikret Kuljaninović (Budućnost)
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Alen Škoro (Sarajevo)
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Halim Stupac (Jedinstvo)
5

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, therefore 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

Since 2000–01 season the first tier of Bosnia and Herzegovina football competition became Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

SeasonChampions
(Premier League titles)
Runners-upThird placeWinning managerTop scorer(s)
Player(s) (Club)Goals
2000–01 1 Željezničar (2) Brotnjo Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Amar Osim (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Dželaludin Muharemović (Željezničar)
31
2001–02 1 Željezničar (3) Široki Brijeg Brotnjo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Amar Osim (2) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Ivica Huljev (Željezničar)
15
2002–03 Leotar (1) Željezničar Sarajevo Flag of Serbia.svg Milan Jovin (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Emir Obuća (Sarajevo)
24
2003–04 Široki Brijeg (1) Željezničar Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Ivo Ištuk (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Alen Škoro (Sarajevo)
20
2004–05 Zrinjski (1) Željezničar Široki Brijeg Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Franjo Džidić (1) Flag of Serbia and Montenegro (1992-2006).svg Zoran Rajović (Zrinjski)
17
2005–06 Široki Brijeg (2) Sarajevo Zrinjski Flag of Croatia.svg Ivica Barbarić (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Petar Jelić (Modriča)
19
2006–07 Sarajevo (2) Zrinjski Slavija Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Husref Musemić (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Stevo Nikolić (Modriča)
Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Dragan Benić (Borac)
19
2007–08 Modriča (1) Široki Brijeg Čelik Zenica Flag of Serbia.svg Slaviša Božičić (1) Flag of Serbia.svg Darko Spalević (Slavija)
18
2008–09 Zrinjski (2) Slavija Sloboda Tuzla Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Dragan Jović (1) Flag of Serbia.svg Darko Spalević (Slavija)
17
2009–10 Željezničar (4) Široki Brijeg Borac Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Amar Osim (3) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Feđa Dudić (Travnik)
16
2010–11 Borac (1) Sarajevo Željezničar Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Vlado Jagodić (1) Flag of Croatia.svg Ivan Lendrić (Zrinjski)
16
2011–12 Željezničar (5) Široki Brijeg Borac Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Amar Osim (4) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Eldin Adilović (Željezničar)
19
2012–13 Željezničar (6) Sarajevo Borac Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Amar Osim (5) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Emir Hadžić (Sarajevo)
20
2013–14 Zrinjski (3) Široki Brijeg Sarajevo Flag of Croatia.svg Branko Karačić (1) Flag of Brazil.svg Wagner (Široki Brijeg)
18
2014–15 Sarajevo (3) Željezničar Zrinjski Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Dženan Uščuplić (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Riad Bajić (Željezničar)
15
2015–16 Zrinjski (4) Sloboda Tuzla Široki Brijeg Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Vinko Marinović (1) Flag of Croatia.svg Leon Benko (Sarajevo)
17
2016–17 Zrinjski (5) Željezničar Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Blaž Slišković (1) Flag of Croatia.svg Ivan Lendrić (Željezničar)
19
2017–18 Zrinjski (6) Željezničar Sarajevo Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Blaž Slišković (2) Flag of Serbia.svg Miloš Filipović (Zrinjski)
16
2018–19 Sarajevo (4) Zrinjski Široki Brijeg Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Husref Musemić (2) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Sulejman Krpić (Željezničar)
16
2019–20 [nb 1] Sarajevo (5) Željezničar Zrinjski Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Vinko Marinović (2) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Mersudin Ahmetović (Sarajevo)
16
2020–21 Borac (2) Sarajevo Velež Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Marko Maksimović (1) Flag of Bosnia and Herzegovina.svg Nemanja Bilbija (Zrinjski)
17
League champions also won the Bosnia and Herzegovina Football Cup, i.e. the domestic Double.

1 Played without clubs from the Republika Srpska entity of BiH which have only taken part in the league since 2002.

Times finished in first three

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

ClubWinnersRunner-upThird placeTimes finished in first three
Sarajevo 54615
Željezničar
67114
Zrinjski 62311
Široki Brijeg 25310
Borac 2035
Brotnjo 0112
Slavija 0112
Sloboda 0112
Leotar 1001
Modriča 1001
Čelik 0011

Cities

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

CityTitlesWinning Clubs
Sarajevo
11
Željezničar (6), Sarajevo (5)
Mostar
6
Zrinjski (6)
Banja Luka
2
Borac (2)
Široki Brijeg
2
Široki Brijeg (2)
Trebinje
1
Leotar (1)
Modriča
1
Modriča (1)

Notable performances in Europe

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 could not 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 to Borussia Mönchengladbach. In the 2020–21 UEFA Europa League season, Sarajevo once again played in the play-off round, this time losing to Celtic.

All time table of Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Counting only since the 2002–03 season, the season the league became a unified country-wide league.
As of the end of the 2020–21 season.Teams in bold are part of the 2021–22 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 Sarajevo Sarajevo 19580314139127974492+48210811
2 Željezničar Sarajevo 19580310123147913527+38610531
3 Zrinjski Mostar 19580307107166901600+3011028 (-1)1
4 Široki Brijeg Široki Brijeg 19580291135154910557+35310081
5 Borac Banja Luka 1545521377165578474+104716 (-1)1
6 Čelik Zenica 18547195134218609669-60716 (-3)3
7 Sloboda Tuzla 17520202104214564597-337102
8 Velež Mostar 1339314283168460501-415093
9 Leotar Trebinje 1236814951168450525-754981
10 Slavija Istočno Sarajevo 1236013765158416493-77476 (-3)2
11 Travnik Travnik 1236012264174422538-1164305
12 Radnik Bijeljina 1133210486142338425-873985
13 Olimpik Sarajevo 927510067108309333-243675
14 Modriča Modriča 7210873489298290+82951
15 Orašje Orašje 72188533100307325-182887
16 Posušje Posušje 72188234102264347-832809
17 Zvijezda Gradačac 7210704991248304-562597
18 Žepče Žepče 6188623294192274-822188
19 Mladost (DK) Doboj, Kakanj 6182535079196265-692096
20 Rudar (P) Prijedor 6180524583179238-5920110
21 Jedinstvo Bihać 4128531461171203-321737
22 Vitez Vitez 5154393481126210-841519
23 Krupa Krupa na Vrbasu 4130373657141170-291474
24 Budućnost Banovići 4128392168139199-601388
25 GOŠK Gabela 4125333260110175-651317
26 Laktaši Laktaši 390351441122125-31198
27 Tuzla City Tuzla 38832233395108-131195
28 Rudar (U) Ugljevik 398341450118143-251169
29 Glasinac Sokolac 26825103371103-328514
30 Drina Zvornik 39020125868159-917213
31 Brotnjo Čitluk 26819143576114-387113
32 Kozara Gradiška 26819133674107-337015
33 Mladost (VO) Velika Obarska 2601417294282-405911
34 Zvijezda 09 Bijeljina 2551016294596-51469
35 Mladost (G) Gacko 138116214065-253918
36 Metalleghe Jajce 132711142534-93211
37 Bosna Visoko 138413328107-791320
38 Gradina Srebrenik 13016231757-40916

1 In the 2004–05 season, Borac Banja Luka were deducted 1 point (Slavija were awarded 3–0 vs Borac in week 11).
2 In the 2006–07 season, Zrinjski were deducted 1 point (Orašje were awarded 3–0 vs Zrinjski).
3 In the 2013–14 season, Slavija were deducted 3 points.
4 In the 2019–20 season, Čelik were deducted 3 points (Željezničar were awarded 3–0 vs Čelik).

See also

Notes

  1. 2019–20 Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina suspended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina; season curtailed and final standings (including Sarajevo as champions) declared by a points-per-game ratio on 1 June 2020. [7]

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References

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