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Serbia finding their feet

The Republic of Serbia was declared in only 2006 but has already made an impact on the football stage.
Serbia finding their feet
Serbia celebrate reaching the 2010 World Cup finals after a 5-0 win against Romania ©AFP

Serbia finding their feet

The Republic of Serbia was declared in only 2006 but has already made an impact on the football stage.

The Football Association of Serbia (Fudbalski savez Srbije or FSS) was originally founded in 1919 as the Yugoslav Football Association, and gained admittance to FIFA and UEFA in 1921 and 1954 respectively.

Yugoslavia played their first international against Czechoslovakia at the Olympic Games in Antwerp on 28 August 1920, losing 7-0. However, major achievements were not long in coming as the country proceeded to participate in five Olympics and eight FIFA World Cups. They were Olympic champions in Rome in 1960, silver medallists in London (1948), Helsinki (1952) and Melbourne (1956), and bronze medallists in Los Angeles (1984).

They also appeared regularly in World Cup tournaments: Uruguay in 1930, reaching the semi-finals; Brazil (1950); Switzerland (1954); Chile (1962) where they came fourth; Germany (1974); Spain (1982); Italy (1990); and France (1998). In addition, Yugoslavia featured five times in the final round of the UEFA European Championship. Runners-up in Paris (1960) and Rome (1968), they finished fourth in Belgrade in 1976 and also competed in France (1984) and Belgium/Netherlands (2000). However, Olympics apart, major honours have been the preserve of the younger representative sides.

Yugoslavia's Under-21s were European champions in 1978 and then triumphed in the International Youth Tournament a year later. More celebrations followed with victory at the 1987 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Chile. On an individual level the legendary Dragan Džajic held the record for national-team caps with 85 until overtaken by Savo Milošević, who retired on 102; Stjepan Bobek still leads the goalscoring chart with 38.

Arguably the greatest international achievement by a Yugoslavian side has been FK Crvena zvezda's victory over Olympique de Marseille in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final of 1991: they won 5-4 on penalties in Bari after a 0-0 draw. Later that year Crvena zvezda beat CD Colo Colo of Chile 3-0 in the European/South American Cup in Tokyo. FK Partizan, also of Belgrade, had got close to realising European Cup success but lost the 1966 final in Brussels 2-1 to Real Madrid CF. Both capital clubs have also performed outstandingly in domestic competitions.

All these events have taken place against a backdrop of political flux. From 1919 to 1941 Yugoslavia was a kingdom but in 1946 it became a republic and subsequently underwent several changes of identity. Between 1946 and 1963 it was the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, then the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, until it finally fragmented in 1992. In the latter period the country consisted of six republics: Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Croatia, Macedonia and Slovenia.

In 1992 the new state of Serbia and Montenegro was named the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In the same year a United Nations resolution imposing sanctions on the country was extended to sport. Consequently, the national team was sent back from the EURO '92 finals in Sweden despite having qualified on merit. For the same reason it was prohibited from taking part in qualifying for both the 1994 World Cup and EURO '96.

In February 2003 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia changed its name once again to Serbia and Montenegro. Finally, in June 2006, Serbia and Montenegro became separate nations and the Republic of Serbia was declared. Serbia's first international as a single entity came against the Czech Republic in August 2006 and success soon arrived: they qualified for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa under coach Radomir Antić.

Major successes followed for Serbia's young players. In 2013, the Under-19 team won the European title in Lithuania, and two years later, the Under-20 team captured the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand - the first time that a Serbian national team had won a world title since independence from Yugoslavia and the dissolution of Serbia and Montenegro.

Dejan Stanković is the holder of the record number of appearances for Serbia's senior national team. He succeeded Savo Milosević when he played his 103rd and last match in October 2013. 

The FSS, with its headquarters in Belgrade, is responsible for all football activities in the country and is an independent, democratic, non-governmental, and politically and religiously neutral association.

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Slaviša Kokeza

Slaviša Kokeza

Nationality: Serbian
Date of birth: 7 July 1977
Association president since: 2016

• A successful businessman, Slaviša Kokeza has been involved in football since an early age. After a short playing career, he excelled as a football official in various clubs, including FK Zemun and FK Crvena zvezda. In 2014, he was named president of the Football Association of Belgrade and vice-president of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS).

• On 20 May 2016, he was unanimously elected president of the FSS. He immediately announced reforms, putting the emphasis on investments in football infrastructure, including the new national stadium and the association's headquarters, and stressing the importance of mutual respect between all members of the Serbian football family.

• “The FSS will be a reliable partner, and will give support to all the clubs in order to develop football on both the professional and amateur levels,” he said. “Together, we need to build an atmosphere of appreciation and respect, and the association should lead by example.“

General secretary


Jovan Šurbatović

Jovan Šurbatović

Nationality: Serbian
Date of birth: 29 March 1968
Association general secretary since: 2016

• Jovan Šurbatović holds a bachelor’s degree in economics. He completed postgraduate studies at the international school of the European Centre for Peace and Development in Belgrade, and became a master of management science. In 2012, his PhD thesis on sports centre management saw him become a doctor of science in the field of sports management.

• On 9 December 2016, he was elected general secretary of the Football Association of Serbia, having acted as deputy to the general secretary from August 2016. Before then, he had served as general secretary of the Football Association of Belgrade (2011-2016), and as a vice-president of the FA of Belgrade (2010-2011).

• In addition to being a professor at the faculty for sports of the Union-Nikola Tesla University, he has published numerous professional and scientific papers on sport and its management, and concerning football in particular.

Association info

  • Founded: 1919
  • UEFA affiliation: 1954
  • FIFA affiliation: 1921
  • Address: 35, Terazije CP 263 11000 BEOGRAD
  • Telephone: +381 11 323 4253
  • Fax: +381 11 323 3433

Association club coefficients

Last updated: 23/02/2018 07:37 CET

Honours by National Teams

Domestic competitions

Serbian Super League 2017/18

1FK Crvena zvezda3079
2FK Partizan3067
3FK Čukarički3051
4FK Radnicki Niš3050
5FK Spartak Subotica3049
6FK Voždovac3047
7FK Napredak3046
8FK Vojvodina3044
9FK Radnik Surdulica3036
10FK Mladost Lučani3035
11FK Zemun3035
12Macva Sabac3031
13FK Bačka3030
14FK Javor3025
15FK Borac Čačak3023
16FK Rad3021

Serbian Super League Championship 2017/18

1FK Crvena zvezda3760
2FK Partizan3743
3FK Radnicki Niš3737
4FK Spartak Subotica3737
5FK Voždovac3733
6FK Čukarički3732
7FK Napredak3730
8FK Vojvodina3728

Serbian Super League Relegation 2017/18

1FK Radnik Surdulica3728
2FK Mladost Lučani3727
3FK Zemun3726
4Macva Sabac3726
5FK Rad3726
6FK Bačka3725
7FK Javor3724
8FK Borac Čačak3715
Last updated: 27/05/2018 21:10 CET