Developing football in Slovenia
Slovenia has punched well above its weight in football terms since independence in 1991.
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The Football Association of Slovenia (NZS) has adopted a model based on three strategic pillars as it aims to maintain football’s position as the nation’s most popular sport:
- Developing quality football at all levels, with a special focus on the women’s game;
- Establishing and consolidating the importance and reputation of football in Slovenia;
- Making balanced operational changes and investments in the development of the game.
With a population of around two million, Slovenia has punched well above its weight in sporting terms, winning over 100 Olympic medals since independence in 1991. European success in basketball, handball, ice hockey and volleyball have set a high standard to follow for the nation’s footballers, but football continues to hold a special place, with the number of registered players continuing to rise, from 46,773 in 2017 to 60,334 in 2022.
The NZS hopes to take the national footballing infrastructure up a notch or two in the years ahead to benefit emerging generations, and has developed a holistic strategy for improving women’s football, focusing on participation and coach education. These new initiatives will complement the programmes that have brought funding for women’s football, opportunities for youth development and activities for the promotion of the women's game, including a festival for new players.
“The popularity of football is constantly growing. We are seeing progress in terms of our relations with stakeholders, inclusion, mass participation and in the greatly increased interest in partnerships with the NZS. The broad appeal of the sport, which makes football ever more socially influential, also increases our responsibility. The NZS has a commitment to the football community and society as a whole. The next strategic period brings new challenges, new objectives and new activities that we will carry out together for the benefit of the game.”
Radenko Mijatović, NZS president
In the past, UEFA’s HatTrick fund has helped to lay artificial pitches, set up floodlights, and establish the NZS’s National Training Centre at Brdo, which features three full-sized pitches and artificial pitch as well as the administrative buildings.
UEFA funding continues to help with national-team projects, women's football, the grassroots game, refereeing, governance activities, social responsibility projects and the development of infrastructures.
National team history
Slovenia reach the World Cup finals in Korea/Japan, again thanks to a play-off victory over Romania.
Date of birth: 16 November 1963
Association president since: 2016
Date of birth: 1 November 1978
Association general secretary since: 2018