Macedonian First Football League

The Macedonian First Football League (Macedonian: Прва македонска фудбалска лига, Prva Мakedonska Fudbalska Liga), also called Macedonian First League, 1. MFL, and Prva Liga, is the highest professional football competition in North Macedonia. It is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Macedonian football league system and has been operating since the 1992–93 season. It is organized by the Football Federation of North Macedonia.

Macedonian First Football League
Прва македонска фудбалска лига
Macedonian First Football League.png
Founded1992; 30 years ago (1992)
First season1992–93
Country North Macedonia
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation to2. MFL
Domestic cup(s)Macedonian Football Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsShkupi (4th title)
(2021–22)
Most championshipsVardar (11 titles)
Top goalscorerBesart Ibraimi (168 goals)
TV partnersMRT
Arena Sport[1]
Websiteffm.mk
Current: 2022–23

FormatEdit

 
Macedonian First League's former logo

Throughout the 1. MFL history, the number of clubs competing at the top level has been gradually decreased until the 2020–21 season. Below is a complete record of how many teams played in each season throughout the league's history:[citation needed]

 
  • 18 clubs = 1992–1993
  • 16 clubs = 1993–1995
  • 15 clubs = 1995–1996
  • 14 clubs = 1996–2001
  • 12 clubs = 2001–2014
  • 10 clubs = 2014–2020
  • 12 clubs = 2020–present

The league has 12 teams, and each team plays the other sides three times, for a total of 33 matches each.[2]

Due to the UEFA ranking coefficients ranking (shown below), the winners of the league enter the 1st qualifying round of the Champions League, while the second and third placed teams enter the 1st qualifying round of the UEFA Europa Conference League alongside the winner of the Macedonian Football Cup. At the end of the season, the bottom 2 teams are relegated to the Macedonian Second League while the eighth placed team enter a play-off with the winner of the tie between second placed teams of the two groups in the Macedonian Second League.

UEFA rankingsEdit

UEFA country ranking for league participation in 2021–22 European football season (Previous year rank in italics)[3][4]

Current teams (2022–23)Edit

Location of teams in 2022–23 Macedonian First League
Club[5]
Position
in 2021–22[6]
Akademija Pandev 2nd
Bregalnica Štip 7th
Makedonija GP 4th
Pobeda 1st in 2. MFL – East
Rabotnički 8th
Renova withdraw from the First League due to financial reasons.[7] 5th
Sileks 1st in 2. MFL – West
Shkëndija 3rd
Shkupi 1st
Skopje 9th
Struga 6th
Tikvesh 10th

HistoryEdit

In 1923 the first national Yugoslav Football Championship was held, and regional championships were also played. The clubs of the Vardar Banovina, territorially similar to present day Macedonia, played within the Belgrade Football Subassociation league until 1927,[8] when a separate Skoplje Football Subassociation league was formed.[9] The champions of the subassociation leagues were granted a place in the qualifiers to the Yugoslav Championship. Gragjanski Skopje became the only Macedonian club to participate in the national league, first in 1935–36 when the championship was played in a cup format,[10] and then in 1938–39, when it was played in a normal league system with Gragjanski finishing 10th out of 12 teams.[11] In 1939 the Yugoslav league system was changed, with the creation of separate Serbian and Croato-Slovenian leagues which served as qualifying leagues for the final phase of the Yugoslav Championship.[12] The clubs from the Skopje Subassociation aimed to qualify to the Serbian League, however only Gragjanski managed to participate, in 1939–40 (5th place)[13] and 1940–41 (8th place).[14]

List of seasonsEdit

Most titlesEdit

 
Macedonian First League Trophy

The titles won by clubs since independence are shown in the following table:[15][16]

Club Titles Runners-up Winning years
Vardar Skopje 11 2 1992–93, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2011–12, 2012–13, 2014–15, 2015–16, 2016–17, 2019–20
FC Shkupi (FK Sloga Jugomagnat 1927–2009) 4 3 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2021–22
Rabotnički Skopje 4 3 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2013–14
Shkëndija 4 2 2010–11, 2017–18, 2018–19, 2020–21
Sileks Kratovo 3 5 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98
Pobeda Prilep 2 2 2003–04, 2006–07
Makedonija Skopje 1 1 2008–09
Renova Djepchishte 1 2009–10
Metalurg Skopje 3
Milano Kumanovo 2
Belasica Strumica 2
Horizont Turnovo 1

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Arena Sport buys 1.MFL TV rights, MRTV joins". MacedonianFootball.com. 16 July 2019. Retrieved 5 August 2019.
  2. ^ "First League". Soccerway. Global Sports Media. Retrieved 19 July 2012.
  3. ^ "UEFA Country Ranking 2015". Bert Kassies. Retrieved 19 May 2012.
  4. ^ "UEFA Country coefficients 2017/18". UEFA. Retrieved 24 May 2012.
  5. ^ "First League: 2019/2020". Perform. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  6. ^ "First League 2018/2019". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Ренова се откажа, првата фудбалска лига останува со 11 учесници" (in Macedonian). Kajgana.com. 30 July 2022. Retrieved 30 July 2022.
  8. ^ Sijić, pag. 135
  9. ^ Milorad Sijić: "Football in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia" Archived 12 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, pag. 142 (in Serbian)
  10. ^ Sijić, pag. 99–100
  11. ^ Sijić, pag. 111–116
  12. ^ Sijić, pag. 117
  13. ^ Sijić, pag. 120–121
  14. ^ Sijić, pag. 129
  15. ^ Karel Stokkermans (29 October 2015). "Macedonia – List of Champions". Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  16. ^ "Archive – First League – North Macedonia – Results, fixtures, tables and news – Soccerway".

External linksEdit