Football in Slovakia

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Football in Slovakia
Country Slovakia
Governing body Slovakia Football Association
National team Slovakia
First played 1863
National competitions
Club competitions
International competitions

Slovakia has participated in international football as an independent nation ever since 1993 when Czechoslovakia was divided into two new states.[1][2][3] Slovakia qualified to the World Cup for the first time in 2010, where the side upset perennial power Italy and lost in the Round of 16.[4] They qualified for the UEFA European Championships for the first time since independence in 2016. Football is the most popular sport in the Slovak Republic.

Football Association[edit]

The Slovak Football Federation was a member of FIFA from April 1939 to 1945 and is again since 1993.

Domestic football[edit]

The Slovak football championship for club teams is held every year in the so-called 2014 Corgoň league. It is the highest division and is sponsored by the Nitra-based brewery Corgoň. For the season 2014/15, the Corgoň League was renamed "Fortuna Liga". The first Slovak football league was formed in its current form in 1993, when the common league was discontinued after the end of the federation with the Czech Republic. The viewer interest is relatively low. It was 2007/08 at about 3000 spectators / game. However, it has to be taken into account that Slovakia only has 5.5 million inhabitants. The clubs sell their players to financially stronger clubs heading west, but recently it's also heading east, north and south. Examples of players who have established themselves in one of the internationally important leagues are Marek Hamšík who is under contract with the Italian club SSC Naples or Peter Pekarík who is currently under contract for the Bundesliga side Hertha BSC and has previously played for the MŠK Žilina.

The record champion is Slovan Bratislava with eight titles, which relegated to the 2003/04 season in the 2nd Slovak League. The resurgence was successful in the 2006/07 season. However, since 2003 MŠK Žilina, FC Petržalka 1898 and MFK Ružomberok have been dominated by other teams.

The second division of Slovakia is called since the season 2006/07 "1st League", the third division is divided into the 2nd League West and the 2nd League East. The 1st League plays like the Corgoň League currently with 12 teams, the two 2nd Leagues play with 16 teams.

In 2010, MŠK Žilina became the first Slovak club to participate in the Champions League, where they were eliminated in the group stage.

Slovak cup[edit]

Slovak Cup is the football cup competition for Slovak club teams. It is organized annually by the Slovak Football Federation (Slovenský futbalový zväz, SFZ). The cup is held since the 1969/70 season, the first winner was the team of Slovan Bratislava. Record winner is Slovan Bratislava with a total of 12 cup victories.

National team[edit]

The men's national team has recently been on the move and was able to qualify as a group winner for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. After the Slovak team surprisingly won against the world champions Italy 3-2, the Slovaks also qualified for the knockout stages, where they were elimated after a 2-1 defeat against the eventual finalists Netherlands.[5] The current national coach in Slovakia is Vladimír Weiss. The national team of women is trained by Zsolt Paluszta.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Slovakia harnessing women's talent". UEFA.com. 2013-03-07. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  2. ^ "Debutant Slovakia will be a surprise package". The Hindu. 2010-05-31. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  3. ^ Grove, Daryl (2010-06-04). "It's soccer vs. hockey in Slovakia | Daryl Grove - Yahoo News". News.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  4. ^ Fletcher, Paul (1970-01-01). "Slovakia 3-2 Italy". BBC News. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  5. ^ "Slovakia 3-2 Italy | World Cup 2010 match report | Football". The Guardian. Retrieved 2013-12-02.