1965–66 Yugoslav First League
The 1965–66 Yugoslav First League season was the 20th season of the First Federal League (Serbo-Croatian: Prva savezna liga), the top level association football league of SFR Yugoslavia, since its establishment in 1946. Sixteen teams contested the competition, with Vojvodina winning their first national title.
|Dates||15 August 1965 – 19 June 1966|
|Champions||Vojvodina (1st title)|
|Cup Winners' Cup||OFK Belgrade|
|Inter-Cities Fairs Cup||Dinamo Zagreb|
Red Star Belgrade
|Top goalscorer||Petar Nadoveza (21)|
Revelation of match-fixing from May–June 1964 ("Planinić affair")Edit
Though the events in question had taken place fourteen months earlier, the beginning of the 1965-66 season and subsequently the entire campaign were marked by a revelation of match fixing from two seasons before.
In late August 1965, two weeks into the league season, FK Željezničar, Hajduk Split, and NK Trešnjevka were found guilty of fixing matches at the end of the 1963-64 season. Their guilt was based on a written statement by the Željo goalkeeper Ranko Planinić who decided to come forward some 14 months after the fact. In his statement, Planinić claims on the record that his club threw matches against Hajduk and Trešnjevka towards the end of the 1963-64 season in return for financial compensation that those two relegation-threatened teams paid in order to avoid the drop. Specifically, Planinić claims that the match played on 31 May 1964 in Split when Hajduk beat Željezničar 4-0 was fixed, as well as the match on 7 June 1964 in Sarajevo when Željo and Trešnjevka tied 3-3. He was in Željo's goal for both matches.
Planinić made the information public in August 1965 by approaching a Večernje novine journalist Alija Resulović who in turn took Planinić's testimony in form of an interview and the piece was published by the paper, circulated in 100,000 copies at the time. In his 2006 book Ona vremena, Resulović claims to have contacted FK Željezničar's president Nusret Mahić right before submitting the piece for print, informing him of Planinić's allegations, seeking comment, and even offering to sit on the information if he (Mahić) thinks it necessary. Resulović further claims that Mahić's response was: "Publish it all! It's all a lie that Planinić concocted as revenge for being fined for an incident he caused at a training session".
The explosive testimony immediately erupted in a nationwide scandal that became known as the 'Planinić Affair'. Many times in the years prior, Yugoslav First League had been plagued by rumours of widespread match-fixing, however, this was the first occasion that a player had come forward and substantiated those claims on the record.
On Friday, 27 August 1965, following a fifteen-hour investigative process, the Yugoslav FA's (FSJ) disciplinary body (disciplinski sud) presided over by Svetozar Savić handed out the following penalties:
- FK Željezničar's board members, including club president Nusret Mahić, got lifelong bans on performing any football-related official functions.
- FK Željezničar's head coach at the time Vlatko Konjevod got a lifetime ban from football.
- FK Željezničar's players Ivica Osim and Mišo Smajlović each got a one-year ban from football.
- NK Hajduk Split's board members, including club president Josip Košto, got lifelong bans on performing any football-related official functions.
- NK Hajduk Split's head coach at the time Milovan Ćirić got a lifetime ban from football.
- Two members of NK Trešnjevka's board got lifelong bans on performing any football-related official functions.
- NK Trešnjevka's club president Ivan Bačun and technical director Marjan Matančić got disciplinary motions started against them.
- NK Dinamo Zagreb's general secretary Oto Hofman got a lifetime ban from football for acting as a go-between for Željezničar and Trešnjevka.
Disciplinary body president Svetozar Savić also announced that the investigation had revealed that Željezničar was paid YUD1.5 million by Hajduk Split, and YUD4 million by Trešnjevka for these matches. Some of the money Trešnjevka paid was obtained from the Zagreb Fair where some of Trešnjevka's board members were employed at. As a reference point, the price of a daily newspaper at the time was YUD40.
Furthermore, NK Hajduk Split, NK Trešnjevka, and FK Željezničar were relegated to the Yugoslav Second League's Western Division, effective immediately. The decision further entailed reorganization of the 1965–66 Yugoslav First League that was already two weeks into its run via reducing the number of clubs from 16 to 13 and voiding all the 1965-66 Yugoslav First League matches played by Hajduk, Trešnjevka, and Željezničar up to that point (6 matches in total). It also meant expanding the 1965–66 Yugoslav Second League Western Division from 18 to 21 clubs.
The draconian punishment caused widespread shock and approval among the Yugoslav public with each of the FSJ's six sub-federations except for SR Croatia's expressing strong support of the decision. Fans of Hajduk, Trešnjevka, and Željezničar organized street protests in their respective cities with the Split demonstration being the most attended. The three clubs quickly lodged an appeal with the FSJ.
On Friday, 9 September 1965, the Yugoslav FA's appeals commission announced its decisions. The main punishment for the three clubs was reduced to points-deduction. Željo, Hajduk, and Trešnjevka were docked 6, 5, and 5 points, respectively.
All of the individual punishments for players and club management members were upheld.
As a result of missing two of their best players, Željezničar struggled mightily to avoid relegation. For the crucial league matches in the survival fight towards the end of the season, Ivica Osim was allowed back on the pitch and Željo barely avoided relegation. Osim's goal against Radnički Niš is especially remembered as it effectively kept Željo in the First League.
Despite taking active part in both fixed matches, Planinić got off unpunished. In the years since, Planinić's motivation to become a whistleblower was sometimes questioned in the media outlets close to the punished clubs with some claiming that he did it out of spite because his contract negotiations with FK Željezničar stalled in August 1965.
|Pos||Team||Pld||W||D||L||GF||GA||GD||Pts||Qualification or relegation|
|1||Vojvodina (C)||30||17||9||4||53||28||+25||43||Qualification for European Cup first round|
|2||Dinamo Zagreb||30||13||9||8||49||35||+14||35||Qualification for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup first round|
|5||Red Star Belgrade||30||12||7||11||54||54||0||31||Qualification for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup first round|
|6||OFK Belgrade||30||10||10||10||58||50||+8||30||Qualification for Cup Winners' Cup first round|
|8||Olimpija||30||11||7||12||43||47||−4||29||Qualification for Inter-Cities Fairs Cup first round|
|15||Radnički Beograd (R)||30||7||11||12||32||53||−21||25||Relegation to Yugoslav Second League|
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored.
(C) Champion; (R) Relegated.
- Željezničar were docked 6 points due to Planinić Affair.
- Hajduk Split were docked 5 points due to Planinić Affair.
- Trešnjevka were docked 5 points due to Planinić Affair.
players (league matches/league goals):
Silvester Takač (30/13)
Vasa Pušibrk (30/2)
Ilija Pantelić (30/0) -goalkeeper-
Vladimir Savić (29/5)
Žarko Nikolić (29/4)
Ivan Brzić (29/0)
Stevan Sekereš (29/0)
Dobrivoje Trivić (28/7)
Mladen Vučinić (26/0)
Đorđe Pavlić (18/8)
Stevan Nestički (17/0)
Dimitrije Radović (16/1)
Radivoj Radosav (12/4)
Adolf Lambi (8/2)
Veljko Aleksić (4/0)
Đorđe Milić (3/1)
Tonče Stamevski (3/0)
Rajko Aleksić (2/0)
Branislav Veljković (1/0)-goalkeeper-
Anđelko Marinković (1/0)
Dragan Surdučki (1/0)
|1||Petar Nadoveza||Hajduk Split||21|
|2||Slobodan Santrač||OFK Belgrade||20|
|3||Slaven Zambata||Dinamo Zagreb||19|
|4||Bora Kostić||Red Star||14|
|Milorad Janković||Radnički Niš|
- ""Afera Planinić", prvi deo: Kako je sve počelo …". Sportska kupusara: Brišemo prašinu sa starih novina. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- Golovi na sudu; Politika, 1 February 2008
- ""Afera Planinić", drugi deo: Kazna". Sportska kupusara: Brišemo prašinu sa starih novina. Retrieved 23 February 2019.
- ""Afera Planinić", treći deo: Krivice ostaju, ali i klubovi u ligi". Sportska kupusara: Brišemo prašinu sa starih novina. Retrieved 24 February 2019.
- Zdravko Reić: Za namještanja utakmica potrebne su drakonske kazne!; Slobodna Dalmacija, 9 December 2008
- Stats from Vojvodina official site