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Hrvatski Nogometni Savez

After World War I and the dissolution of Austria–Hungary, representatives from Građanski Zagreb, HAŠK, HNK Hajduk Split and Concordia Zagreb football clubs met in Zagreb on 14 April 1919 and founded the Football Association of Yugoslavia (Jugoslavenski nogometni savez), as a successor of the Croatian Sports Federation's football section, and appointed Hinko Würth as its president.

CFF in Yugoslavia (1945–1990)

Following the end of World War II, Croatia became a part of SFR Yugoslavia and the Belgrade-based Football Association of Yugoslavia took over as the main football-governing body in the country. Also, the new communist government issued a decree in 1945 which effectively dissolved all football clubs which were active during the war as a form of punishment for their participation in the fascist-run football championship. Among others, Zagreb-based powerhouses Concordia Zagreb, HAŠK and Građanski Zagreb all ceased to exist, their property was nationalised, and several other clubs, most notably NK Dinamo Zagreb, were formed to take their place. On the other hand, HNK Hajduk Split was spared as their players had escaped from their Italian-occupied home town of Split (city) during WWII and joined Yugoslav Partisans in 1944. For this reason, Hajduk Split is the only major Croatian club which can claim continuity since its foundation in 1911.

In the period from 1945 to 1990 the Belgrade-based Yugoslav Football Federation was in charge of football in the entire country, while Zagreb was turned into its major regional hub and administrative branch. In this period Croatian clubs competed within the Yugoslav league system and Croatian players were eligible for the Yugoslavia national football team. In the following decades Dinamo Zagreb and Hajduk Split became two of the Yugoslav Big Four (along with Belgrade-based FK Partizan and Red Star Belgrade), a quartet of clubs which significantly dominated football in communist Yugoslavia. Dinamo and Hajduk won a combined total of 11 Yugoslav First League titles and 16 Yugoslav Cups. In addition, Croatian club HNK Rijeka won 2 Yugoslav Cup titles. Dinamo Zagreb also won the 1966–67 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, which made them the first Yugoslav side to win a continental competition, and were the only Yugoslav club with European silverware until Red Star's 1990–91 European Cup win 24 years later.

Modern era (1990–present)

When the breakup of Yugoslavia began to unfold in the early 1990s, the political situation was reflected on football pitches. On 13 May 1990 an Dinamo Zagreb–Red Star Belgrade riot occurred at Stadion Maksimir in Zagreb and interrupted the Dinamo Zagreb – Red Star league fixture. On 3 June 1990 the pre-scheduled Yugoslavia v Netherlands (1990) friendly was held at the same stadium, and some 20,000 Croatian fans booed the Yugoslav national anthem and cheered for the Dutch team instead. On 26 September 1990 Hajduk Split fans staged a violent pitch invasion at Gradski stadion u Poljudu during a league fixture against FK Partizan. On 17 October 1990 the first match of the newly established Croatia national football team was held, a Croatia v United States (1990), and following the end of the 1990–91 Yugoslav First League Croatian clubs decided to abandon Yugoslav competitions.

After Croatia had officially declared independence on 8 October 1991, the Croatian Football Federation sought international recognition, and was finally re-admitted to FIFA on 3 July 1992 and to UEFA on 17 June 1993.

In February 1992 the 1992 Prva HNL of the Croatian top league Prva HNL kicked off, and in March 1992 the 1992 Croatian Cup of the Croatian Cup was launched.

In late 2010, the Federation held an election for its President, with Vlatko Marković opposed by Igor Štimac. Marković won by a single vote, and the assembly was marred with controversies. Štimac later appealed, calling for another meeting of the Federation. His supporters organized a new assembly and elected him the new President despite the opposing faction's boycott, leading to an impasse.


- Bruno Knežević (1968–1971)
- Željko Huber (1981–1982)
- Paško Viđak (1988–1990)
- Mladen Vedriš (September 1990 – July 1994)
- Damir Matovinović (8 July 1994 – 10 March 1995)
- Đuro Brodarac (10 March 1995 – 8 June 1995)
- Nadan Vidošević (8 June 1995 – 17 August 1996)
- Josip Šoić (17 August 1996 – 2 June 1997)
- Branko Mikša (2 June 1997 – 5 October 1998)
- Vlatko Marković (18 December 1998 – present)


It organizes the following competitions:
Men's football:
- Prva HNL (or Prva HNL); First league
- Druga HNL (or Druga HNL); Second league
- Treća HNL (or Treća HNL); Third league
- Croatian Cup
- Croatian Supercup

Youth football:
- Prva HNL Academy; First league for academy sides, with two age categories, Under 19s (Juniori) and Under 17s (Kadeti) sides

Women's football:
- Croatian First Division (women) (or Prva HNL za žene); First Women's Division
- Croatian Women's Cup

National teams

The Croatian Football Federation also organises national football teams representing Croatia at all age levels:
- Croatia national football team (currently managed by Slaven Bilić)
- Croatia national under-21 football team (currently managed by Ivo Šušak)
- Croatia national under-19 football team (currently managed by Ivan Grnja)
- Croatia national under-17 football team (currently managed by Ivan Gudelj)
- Croatia U15 national football team (currently managed by Marijan Brnčić)

- Croatia women's national football team (currently managed by Dean Klafurić)

- Croatia national futsal team

Talk about Football in Croatia

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