Macedonia first league
Macedonia second league
Football is the most popular sport in Northern Macedonia. The country became a member of FIFA in 1994.
The national team has achieved some remarkable results in qualifying for the European Championship and the World Cup. The most sensational result was probably the 2-2 draw against England (October 2002). Two years later, the Netherlands were at home to a 2-2 draw (October 2004). The away game in Amsterdam the following year also ended in a draw (0: 0). On 7 October 2006, another draw took place in Manchester in England. On 17 November 2007, Northern Macedonia defeated group winner Croatia 2-0.
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By far the most popular clubs in the country are Vardar (Skopje), Rabotnichki (Skopje), Shkëndija (Tetovo), Pelister (Bitola) and Pobeda (Prilep).
The beginnings of football in northern Macedonia date back to the early 20th century. In fact, the first game was held on April 20, 1919 in Skopje. It was the selection of the English army, which was made up of the best players of the recruits. Against Napredok from Skopje Napredok would win the game 2-0. At this point, in memory of the competition, a football-type monument weighing around 250 pounds was erected, as it was the first official football game to be played on the territory of northern Macedonia. The monument was erected in 1979 on the occasion of the 70th anniversary since the beginning of football in northern Macedonia.
Since 1909 many clubs have been founded. Before the First World War, the region was part of the Kingdom of Serbia and as such 1918 part of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (renamed in 1929 in Yugoslavia). Since 1918, the clubs from the current territory of the Republic of North Macedonia in the Yugoslav League system had applied. First, they were part of the Belgrade Football Association (1913-1927), and later, in 1927, a separate Skoplje Football Association was formed. The formation of the new league facilitated access to the first Yugoslav league considerably for the Macedonian clubs, as the leagues of the Subassocion served as qualification leagues for the Yugoslav national championship and the Belgrade clubs were avoided. Gragjanski Skopje became a regular participant in Yugoslavian top sport in the late 1930s. In the late 1930s and early 1940s, the league system was changed and Macedonian clubs entered the Serbian league.
In 1941, when the Second World War was already underway, most of the Vardarska Banovina region was incorporated into Bulgaria. The football leagues and clubs were restructured and integrated into the Bulgarian league system. The strongest Macedonian clubs appeared in the Bulgarian league (1941-1945). During the Second World War, the selection of Macedonian clubs played against the selection of the German army and played games against Bulgaria. During this time several Macedonian players were selected and played for the Bulgarian national team.
In 1945, at the end of World War II, the region was re-incorporated into Yugoslavia, and the SR Macedonia was established as one of the six constituent socialist republics of SFR Yugoslavia. The best Macedonian clubs usually played in the Bundesliga, the First and the Second Yugoslav League, while the Macedonian Republic League was established as a qualifying league for the Bundesliga. After the Second World War in 1945, a section of the sports club in Skopje was founded with Gustav Vlahov as president. Finally, on August 14, 1949, the Macedonian Football Federation was founded, which until 1991, when North Macedonia declared independence, was part of the Football Association of Yugoslavia. The first president of the Macedonian Football Association was Ljubisav Ivanov - Dzingo. The best Macedonian players were part of the Yugoslav national team.
In 1991, as the Republic of Macedonia, Northern Macedonia became an independent sovereign nation, which became part of the Republic of North Macedonia in 2019. The Macedonian clubs abandoned the Yugoslav football league system and founded their own league system. The first championship in northern Macedonia was organized in the 1992/93 season, in which 18 teams participated. Vardar from Skopje was the first champion without a lost match. They would also win the first Macedonian Cup. In 1994, Northern Macedonia became a member of FIFA and UEFA following the dissolution of SFR Yugoslavia. In 1995, for the first time Macedonian clubs participated in European Cup games. As champions, FK Vardar played in the Uefa league against Hungarian side Békéscsaba and lost 2-1 overall. FK Sileks played in the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup and left Vác Samsung in the first qualifying round before beating Borussia in the next round Mönchengladbach lost.
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