Montenegro

Capital: Podgorica
Population: 672,180
Currency: Euro
Official Language: Montenegrin, Serbian
Borders: Croatia (west), Bosnia (north west), Serbia (north east), Kosovo (east), Albania (south east)
GNP per Capita: $11,100
Main Airport: Podgorica Airport

First League of Montenegro is the top football league in Montenegro. It is headed by the Football Association of Montenegro. 12 teams participate in this league. The winner of the Montenegrin First League starts the qualifications for the UEFA Champions League from the first round. The second placed team and the National Cup winner play in the qualifying rounds of the UEFA Cup. The third-placed (or fourth) team competes in the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

While Montenegro was part of socialist Yugoslavia, its top league was the Yugoslav First League. When SFRY dissolved, the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was formed in 1992 and the Serbian and Montenegrin teams played in this league, although it was still named Yugoslav First League. In 2003, the FR Yugoslavia was renamed to Serbia and Montenegro and the football league followed suit. The league of Serbia and Montenegro had 16 teams. During this time the First League of Montenegro functioned as one of the state’s two second division leagues. In 2006, Montenegro split from Serbia and Montenegro, thus making the First League of Montenegro its top national competition.

Champions since league started
2006/07 FK Zeta
2007/08 FK Budućnost
2008/09 Mogren

Teams playing in the 2009/10 championship

FK Budućnost – Podgorica – Stadion Pod Goricom – Capacity: 18,000.  Playing at the national stadium, last seasons champions are the team to beat.  They have the most resources of any team in the league.
FK Dečić – Tuzi – Stadion Tusko Polje – Capacity: 1,000.  Worked their way up from the regional leagues in the past 10 years.  They hail from Tuzi which is close to the Albania border and Lake Skadar.

FK Grbalj – Radanovići – Stadion u Radanovicima – Capacity: 1,500.  Fourth place last season followed a top three finish the year before.  They also took part in the 2007 Intertoto Cup, repeating the feat this season and actually winning a game versus Celik Zenica of Bosnia.

FK Jezero -Plav – Stadion Pod Racinom – Capacity: 5,000.  Promoted as champions of the 2nd division last season.  They come from the small town of Plav in the eastern corner of the country, bordering Albania.

FK Jedinstvo – Bijelo Polje – Gradski Stadium – Capacity: 5,000.  Another club who have been promoted this season.  They hail from the small town of Bijelo Polje in the north east of the country, bordering Serbia.

FK Kom – Podgorica – Stadion Zlatica – Capacity: 3,000.  Another club who play in the capital Podgorica.  They were promoted in 2007 and finished 9th last season.  The stadium is located in the north of the city.

FK Lovćen – Cetinje – Stadion Obilica Poljaba – Capacity: 2,000.  A sixth place finish last season for the team who are only in their second season at this level.  The town of Cetinje is the second biggest in Montengro and in the shadow of Mount Lovcen.

FK Mogren – Budva – Lugovi Stadium – Capacity: 4,000.  Last season’s third place team and winner of the Montenegro Cup which gave them entry to the 2008 UEFA Cup.  Their stadium is currently being redeveloped and will be turned into a 15,000 all seater affair in 2009.

OFK Petrovac – Petrovac – Pod Malom Ibrdom Stadium – Capacity: 1,030.  An 8th place finish last season for the team promoted in 2007.  They hail from the popular tourist resort of Budva which is in the west of the country.

FK Rudar Pljevlja -Pljevlja – Stadion Gradski – Capacity: 10,000.  Last season’s 5th place team and one that should challenge for the honours this time around.  They come from the town of Pljevlja which is located in the far north of the country on the border with Serbia.

FK Sutjeska – Nikšić – Stadion Gradski – Capacity: 10,800.  Struggled for most of last season, eventually avoiding relegation by a few points.  The city is the second biggest behind the capital and is the heart of the industry within the country.

FK Zeta – Golubovci – Stadion Tresnijca – Capacity: 7,000.  Champions of the first Montenegroen League in 2006, they finished 2nd place last time around.  They actually finished 3rd in the final Serbian league in 2006.  They won the countries first ever Champions League game versus FBK Kaunas of Lithuania before losing to Rangers in round two.  Golubovci is a small suburb of the capital Podgorica.

There are currently no direct flights from the UK to Montenegro – all routes involve a change in Belgrade or Zagreb.

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