Football in Bosnia and Herzegovina

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Football in Bosnia and Herzegovina
CountryBosnia and Herzegovina
Governing bodyFootball Association of Bosnia and Herzegovina
National team(s)men's national team
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Bosnia and Herzegovina's most popular sport is football.

National team of Bosnia and Herzegovina[edit]

Vedad Ibišević scored Bosnia's first ever FIFA World Cup goal in a 2–1 loss to Argentina.[1]

The team has only qualified for a major international tournament once as an independent nation, reaching the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[2][3] It is yet to qualify for a UEFA European Championship, coming closest by losing to Portugal in the play-offs for UEFA Euro 2012.[4][5][6][7]

Bosnia's home ground is Bilino Polje Stadium in the city of Zenica. The national team's first international victory as a FIFA member came against 1994 FIFA World Cup runners-up Italy on 6 November 1996.[8][9][10] The national team's highest FIFA World Ranking was 13th in August 2013.[11][12] October 2013 FIFA World Rankings, used to seed qualified teams in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Final Draw, placed Bosnia and Herzegovina as the highest ranked team of all former Yugoslav republics for the first time in history. In the past years, the national side finished twice among the top three best movers in FIFA World Ranking of the year. In their first game at their first World Cup, centre-forward Vedad Ibišević scored Bosnia's first ever goal at a major tournament in the country's history in a 1–2 loss to two-time World Cup winning opposition Argentina.

Bilino Polje the stadium of the Bosnian national football team

Short history of the game[edit]

The game reached Bosnia and Herzegovina at the start of the 20th century, with Sarajevo (in 1903)[13] and Mostar (in 1905)[14] being the first cities to embrace it. Banja Luka, Tuzla, Zenica and Bihać were next along with numerous smaller towns as the sport spread. The country was under Austro-Hungarian rule when official competition began in 1908, though these activities were on a small scale within each territory.[15] At the outbreak of World War I, there were four clubs in Sarajevo; SAŠK, Slavija, Đerzelez (also known as Sarajevski),[16] and Makabi Sarajevo (also known as Barkohba)[17] and approximately 20 outside the capital. The creation of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia post 1918 brought an increase in the number of leagues, and soon a domestic national championship was organised featuring two teams from Bosnia and Herzegovina. In 1920, the direct predecessor of the football federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina was founded as the Sarajevo football subassociation. The unified Yugoslav championship ran until 1939/40.

The Football Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina was founded after the Second World War, being affiliated to the Yugoslav Football Association.

Club football[edit]

Bosnia and Herzegovina's best sides at the time of former Yugoslavia were Sarajevo, Željezničar (Sarajevo) and Velež (Mostar) which played in the Yugoslavian first league, second league and cup competitions with moderate success, while its best players with the likes of Vahid Halilhodžić, Safet Sušić, Josip Katalinski, Faruk Hadžibegić, Ivica Osim, Asim Ferhatović, Blaž Slišković, Mehmed Baždarević, Dušan Bajević and many others were chosen to represent SFR Yugoslavia national football team.[18]

Other notable clubs that participate in Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina are HŠK Zrinjski Mostar, NK Čelik Zenica, NK Široki Brijeg, FK Sloboda Tuzla, as well as FK Borac Banja Luka who participates in Prva Liga Republike Srpske in season 2016/2017.


Ultras are common there with the biggest names as Manijaci the supporter group of Zeljeznicar, Horde zla The supporter group of FK Sarajevo and the BHFanaticos the supporter group of the national side.


  1. ^ "World Cup 2014: Argentina 2–1 Bosnia highlights". BBC Sport. 16 June 2014. Retrieved 16 June 2014.
  2. ^ (15 October 2013). "Bosnians make history".
  3. ^ (15 October 2013). "Ibišević sparks Bosnia and Herzegovina joy".
  4. ^ "Jubilant Bosnians book play-off place". UEFA. 10 October 2009. Archived from the original on 12 December 2010. Retrieved 10 October 2009.
  5. ^ (13 October 2011). "Draw for the UEFA EURO 2012 play-offs".
  6. ^ (11 October 2012). "World Cup Qualifying: Is Luck Finally on the Side of Bosnia and Herzegovina?".
  7. ^ Rusty Woodger (23 March 2013). "Can Bosnia break their hoodoo?".
  8. ^ (11 November 1996). "Football; Bosnia finally put on the map". The Independent. London.
  9. ^ Bosnia and Herzegovina national football team results#1996
  10. ^ (6 November 1996). "Bosnian first victory" (in Bosnian). Archived from the original on 16 April 2012.
  11. ^ (4 July 2013). "Bosnia-Herzegovina (14th, up 1)".
  12. ^ (13 June 2013). "Best-ever Bosnia scale new heights". Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  13. ^ (12 August 2014). "Znate li kad je fudbalska lopta donešena u Sarajevo?". (in Bosnian). Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 12 August 2010.
  14. ^ (21 February 2010). "Bosnian standards continue to rise". UEFA. Retrieved 21 February 2010.
  15. ^ (1 January 2010). "Hronologija Razvoja Saveza". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 1 January 2010.
  16. ^ (16 August 2011). "Fudbal u Sarajevu". (in Bosnian). Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  17. ^ (12 August 2014). "Regional Leagues 1938/39 Sarajevski Podsavez". Retrieved 12 August 2014.
  18. ^ H. Ljevo (11 December 2013). "From Brazil to Brazil in 64 years". Retrieved 11 December 2013.