Macedonian First Football League

The Macedonian First Football League (Macedonian: Прва македонска фудбалска лига, Albanian: Liga e Parë e Futbollit të Maqedonisë), also called Macedonian First League, 1. MFL, and Prva Liga, is the highest professional football competition in 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
Founded1992; 31 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 championsStruga (1st title)
(2022–23)
Most championshipsVardar (11 titles)
Top goalscorerBesart Ibraimi (173 goals)
TV partnersMRT
Arena Sport[1]
Sport Klub
Websiteffm.mk Edit this at Wikidata
Current: 2023–24

Format edit

 
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 rankings edit

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

Current teams (2023–24) edit

Location of teams in 2023–24 Macedonian First League
Club[5]
Position
in 2022–23[6]
Bregalnica Štip 5th
Brera Strumica 9th
Gostivar 2nd in 2. MFL
Makedonija G.P. 7th
Rabotnički 8th
Sileks 4th
Shkëndija 3rd
Shkupi 2nd
Struga 1st
Tikvesh 6th
Vardar 3rd in 2. MFL
Voska Sport 1st in 2. MFL

History edit

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,[7] when a separate Skoplje Football Subassociation league was formed.[8] 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,[9] and then in 1938–39, when it was played in a normal league system with Gragjanski finishing 10th out of 12 teams.[10] 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.[11] The clubs from the Skopje Subassociation aimed to qualify to the Serbian League, however only Gragjanski managed to participate, in 1939–40 (5th place)[12] and 1940–41 (8th place).[13]

Current Champion edit

The current champion of the Macedonian First League is Struga.

List of seasons edit

Most titles edit

 
Macedonian First League Trophy

The titles won by clubs since independence are shown in the following table:[14][15]

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
Shkupi (FK Sloga Jugomagnat 1927–2009) 4 4 1998–99, 1999–2000, 2000–01, 2021–22
Rabotnički Skopje 4 3 2004–05, 2005–06, 2007–08, 2013–14
Shkendija 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 Gjorce Petrov 1 1 2008–09
Renova Djepchishte 1 2009–10
Struga 1 2022–23
Metalurg Skopje 3
Milano Kumanovo 2
Belasica Strumica 2
Horizont Turnovo 1

References edit

  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 2022/2023". Soccerway. Perform. Retrieved 1 June 2023.
  7. ^ Sijić, pag. 135
  8. ^ Milorad Sijić: "Football in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia" Archived 12 May 2012 at the Wayback Machine, pag. 142 (in Serbian)
  9. ^ Sijić, pag. 99–100
  10. ^ Sijić, pag. 111–116
  11. ^ Sijić, pag. 117
  12. ^ Sijić, pag. 120–121
  13. ^ Sijić, pag. 129
  14. ^ Karel Stokkermans (29 October 2015). "Macedonia – List of Champions". Retrieved 26 November 2015.
  15. ^ "Archive – First League – North Macedonia – Results, fixtures, tables and news – Soccerway".

External links edit