Football club (GDR)

Football club (German: Fußballclub) (FC) was a designation for the elite football teams in the German Democratic Republic (GDR), commonly known as East Germany. They were formed in the mid-1960s as centers of high-level football.

After World War II and the occupation of Germany by Allied forces, a separate football competition emerged in the Soviet-held eastern half of the country. The term "FC" continued to be used in its traditional sense in West Germany, but eventually became a specialized designation in East Germany.

A match between FC Karl-Marx-Stadt and SG Dynamo Dresden in the 1988–89 FDGB-Pokal at the Dr.-Kurt-Fischer-Stadion on 29 October 1988.

Since the introduction of the sports club (SC) system in the mid-1950s, the football departments of sports clubs had dominated the DDR-Oberliga. Football was granted a special status in the East German elite sports in late 1965, when ten football departments were separated from their sports clubs to create ten pure football clubs. These ten football clubs and SG Dynamo Dresden were designated as focus clubs, so-called Schwerpunktclubs, and were given the same rights as sports clubs.[1][2] Their autonomy was underpinned by liberal financial support from the central sports agency DTSB and support from state agencies and large state owned companies.[2]

These eleven clubs were given privileged access to the best talents in designated geographical and administrative areas.[2] The DFV would gradually build 196 training centers (TZ) based on guidelines from the DTSB across East Germany from the beginning of 1970.[3] And toung talents from the age of 13 started to be enrolled into the elite Children and Youth Sports Schools (KJS) at the same time.[4] A designated football club had the right to accommodate twelve students in the district Children and Youth Sports Schools (KJS) every year.[5]

This special status of the sports clubs and football clubs as the only centers of elite sports led to an establishment of a two-class society in the DDR-Oberliga: the heavily supported and largely professionalized clubs dominated play in every respect, the best enterprise sports communities (German: Betriebssportgemeinschaften) (BSG) were used as a talent pool. Their players were delegated to the football clubs. From the time when the sports clubs were first established in 1954, there is just one instance when a BSG won the DDR-Oberliga. That is when BSG Chemie Leipzig were crowned champions in 1964. However, the team had been formed from two dissolved sports clubs the year before. Only football clubs finished in the top thee in the DDR-Oberliga from 1968 to 1991.

The football clubs in the GDREdit

Name Founded Sports club
SG Dynamo Dresden° 12 April 1953 SG Dynamo Dresden
1. FC Magdeburg 22 December 1965 SC Magdeburg
F.C. Hansa Rostock 28 December 1965 SC Empor Rostock
BFC Dynamo 15 January 1966 SC Dynamo Berlin
FC Karl-Marx-Stadt 15 January 1966 SC Karl-Marx-Stadt
FC Vorwärts Berlin°° 18 January 1966 ASK Vorwärts Berlin
1. FC Union Berlin 20 January 1966 TSC Berlin
FC Carl Zeiss Jena 20 January 1966 SC Motor Jena
1. FC Lokomotive Leipzig 20 January 1966 SC Leipzig
FC Rot-Weiß Erfurt 26 January 1966 SC Turbine Erfurt
Hallescher FC Chemie 26 January 1966 SC Chemie Halle

° SG Dynamo Dresden existed well before the founding of pure football clubs. While the club was a "Sports Community" (German: Sportgemeinschaft) (SG) by name, it had the same status as the football clubs.

°° The club was relocated to Frankfurt an der Oder in Bezirk Frankfurt on 31 July 1971 and continued as FC Vorwärts Frankfurt.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Hesse-Lichtenberger, Ulrich (2003). Tor!: The Story of German Football (3rd ed.). London: WSC Books Ltd. p. 227. ISBN 095401345X.
  2. ^ a b c Dennis, Mike (2007). "Behind the Wall: East German football between state and society" (PDF). German as a Foreign Language (GFL). 2007 (2): 46–73. ISSN 1470-9570. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  3. ^ Willmann, Frank (1999). "Fussball in der Zone". telegraph (de) (in German). Berlin: Prenzlberg Dokumentation e.V. 2010 (120/121). Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  4. ^ "DDR-Fußball: Aus der Chronik des Deutschen Fußballverbandes der DDR (DFV)". (in German). Berlin: Nordostdeutscher Fußballverband e. V. 10 April 2001. Retrieved 5 December 2020.
  5. ^ Leske, Hanns (2012). "Leistungskonzentration durch die Gründung von reinen Fußballclubs", "Hierarchie des DDR-Fußballs: Privilegierung der Schwerpunktclubs". Fußball in der DDR: Kicken im Auftrag der SED (in German) (2nd ed.). Erfurt: Landeszentrale für politische Bildung Thüringen. ISBN 978-3-937967-91-2.