First League of the Republika Srpska

The First League of the Republika Srpska (Serbo-Croatian: Prva liga Republike Srpske / Прва лига Републике Српске) is a football league in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Together with the First League of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it forms the second level of football in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

First League of the Republika Srpska
Founded1995
First season1995–96
Country Bosnia and Herzegovina
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid2
Promotion toPremier League
Relegation toSecond League of RS
Domestic cup(s)Bosnian Cup, Republika Srpska Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Conference League
(The winner of the Bosnian Cup earns an automatic spot in the UEFA Conference League)
Current championsRadnik Bijeljina (4th title)
(2023–24)
Most championshipsBorac Banja Luka (5 titles)
TV partnersRTRS
Websitefsrs.org (in Serbian)
Current: 2023–24 First League

The league champion is promoted to the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Relegated teams fall to the Second League of the Republika Srpska.

History

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Separate and second tier league

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Since there were three different football championships in the country, organized on ethnic principles, the "First League of the Republika Srpska" was the top flight in the Republika Srpska before 2002. However, the champions of this League were not recognized by UEFA. In 2002, the top clubs from the Republika Srpska joined the Premier League of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the First League was kept as one of two second level divisions. It is still run by the Football Association of Republika Srpska, and has ended its boycott of Bosnian football on a federal level.

New format and expansion

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The league changed format in the 2014–15 season and was split into two stages, the regular season and the playoffs. Each of the 12 competitors in the First League hosts every other team once in the regular season, for a total of 22 matches. A playoff phase is then played from April to May. The point system in the championship playoff is the same as during the regular season, except that each team starts with half of the points they won in the regular season, rounded up to the nearest integer. The points gained by rounding are deducted in the case of a tie. Similar systems are also used in the Belgian First Division A and the Polish Ekstraklasa.

The top six teams from the regular season enter the championship playoff, with the first-placed team winning the First League and teams ranked from 7 to 12 after the regular season enter the relegation playoffs. Each team plays their opponents once. The League champion is promoted to the Premier League at the end of the season, and the bottom clubs are relegated to the Second League of the Republika Srpska (third level). The number of relegated teams depends on how many clubs are entering the league. Those are the winners of the two third level league groups, the winner of the relegation play-off, and Republika Srpska clubs relegated from the Premier League. So, sometimes two clubs get relegated, and sometimes three or even four.

On 12 June 2020, it was confirmed that the league will be expanded from 10 to 16 teams in the 2020–21 season.[1]

On 13 June 2022, it was confirmed that the league will be expanded from 16 to 18 teams in the 2022–23 season.[2]

Member clubs for 2023–24

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Team Last season
Leotar Relegated
Laktaši 3.
Slavija Sarajevo 4.
Sloboda Novi Grad 5.
Rudar Prijedor 6.
Radnik Bijeljina 7.
Sutjeska Foča 8.
Kozara Gradiška 9.
Željezničar Banja Luka 10.
Ljubić Prnjavor 11.
Famos Vojkovići 12.
Sloboda Mrkonjić Grad 13.
Omarska 14.
Drina Zvornik 15.
Alfa Modriča 16.
Borac Kozarska Dubica Promoted
Romanija Pale Promoted
Velež Nevesinje Promoted

League champions

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Previous champions and winners of the league are:[3]

Season Champion Runners Up Top Goalscorer Club Goals
1995–96 Boksit Milići Rudar Prijedor Siniša Đurić
Zoran Majstorović
Kozara Gradiška
Boksit Milići
16 Goals
16 Goals
1996–97 Rudar Ugljevik Sloga Trn Mladen Zgonjanin
Marić
Sloga Trn
Glasinac Sokolac
14 Goals
14 Goals
1997–98 Rudar Ugljevik Borac Banja Luka Nikola Bala Rudar Ugljevik 31 Goals
1998–99 Radnik Bijeljina Rudar Ugljevik Mladen Zgonjanin Sloga Trn 23 Goals
1999–2000 Boksit Milići Rudar Ugljevik Nedo Zdjelar Sloboda Novi Grad 29 Goals
2000–01 Borac Banja Luka Sloboda Novi Grad Milanko Đerić Boksit Milići 26 Goals
2001–02 Leotar Kozara Gradiška Pavle Delibašić
Siniša Jovanović
Leotar
Glasinac Sokolac
21 Goals
21 Goals

Since the 2002–03 season, it became a second national level competition. The league champion gets direct promotion to the Bosnian Premier League.

Performance by club

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Club Winners Winning years
Borac Banja Luka
5
2001, 2006, 2008, 2017, 2019
Krupa
4
2016, 2020, 2022, 2023
Radnik Bijeljina
4
1999, 2005, 2012, 2024
Rudar Prijedor
3
2009, 2015, 2021
Rudar Ugljevik
2
1997, 1998
Boksit Milići
2
1996, 2000
Drina Zvornik
2
2010, 2014
Leotar
1
2002
Alfa Modriča
1
2003
Slavija Sarajevo
1
2004
Laktaši
1
2007
Kozara Gradiška
1
2011
Mladost Velika Obarska
1
2013
Zvijezda 09
1
2018

References

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  1. ^ Goran Karać (12 June 2020). "Potvrđeno proširenje Prve lige RS u fudbalu" (in Bosnian). nezavisne.com. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
  2. ^ "Izvršni odbor FSRS: Prva liga sa 18 klubova, jedinstva Druga od sledeće sezone, lopta kreće 6. avgusta!" (in Bosnian). pravdabl.com. 13 June 2022. Retrieved 13 June 2022.
  3. ^ "Prvaci prve lige Federacije Bosne i Hercegovine". bihsoccer.com. 2010. Retrieved 2 April 2011.
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