Serbia – Regional Frontrunner of American Football

Regardless of whether you are an adrenaline freak, or you possess the passion for challenging sports, or you just like to hit other people – then American football is the real deal for you!

American football is different from any other sport in a way that your physical qualities are not as important. Regardless if you’re fast, slow, tall, short, old, young or skinny, you are most likely going to find the perfect position on an American football team.

There is absolutely no doubt that American football is one of the most dynamic team sports today, and probably the most demanding in terms of strength and physical fitness in comparison to others. Just like its name says, the American football originates from the USA. Its foundation was started towards the end of the 19th century. Besides the NBA, MLB, NHL, the NFL (American football) is one of the most popular sports in the USA. While its popularity is fast growing, attracting huge amounts of followers and sponsorship deals, the rest of the World somehow still has not managed to grasp its value and is miles away of raising the significance of the sport on the national level.

More precisely, besides the USA, where the NFL (National Football League) is recognized as one of the top 4 most popular professional sports (the other three are NBA, MLB and NHL), European countries are struggling to introduce the sport (American Football) to the people in a way that would make it one of the more popular sports that is played on the European Continent, just like soccer, basketball or tennis. However, one of the countries that is doing an excellent job in introducing this (American) sport to its people is most definitely Serbia.

“In fact more Serbians are now contacting us for help betting on American Football at our company now than ever because they are realizing how thrilling it is to watch and how much money they can earn betting on sports. Just last season I made seven Serbians over $150,000 USD betting on Football.” According to Jon Price the world’s most successful and notable handicapper. Jon also mentioned that having betting shops and legal sportsbooks all over Europe makes wagering more accessible for the European market compared to the U.S. market.

Although, up until 20 years ago, the people of Serbia has (even Europe) known very little about the American football, but the things have significantly changed in the last decade or so. With the wide spread use of internet and social media, the people of Serbia have started to learn more about the game and it didn’t take long for the first American football enthusiasts to start fantasizing about starting the first ever Serbian American football team. It was back in 2002 when a group of friends and huge fans of the American football, have decided to found the first ever American football team in SerbiaThe Sirmium Legionaries.


Photo: Đakonović Bojan

A year later, in 2003, is when the true revolution of the American football in Serbia has begun, with the foundation of new teams (Wild Boars, Belgrade Wolves, etc.). Shortly after the Serbian Association of American Football (SAAF) was founded, and in 2004, with a total of 5 teams that were founded, the first American football season was held in Serbia. Fast forward to the present date, the SAAF counts for 29 professional teams, which are divided into three divisions (first, second and third).

Serbia has even formed its American Football national team, which played its first ever official international match against Slovenia on October 18th, 2005 and won with the score of 38-0. The Serbian national team has participated also at the European Championship (Division C) in 2012, and ended up winning the competition which meant the promotion to the Division B. At the recently finished European Championship (Division B), which was held in Italy from Sept. 2-4., Serbia has failed to win the final match against the host Italy (14-17), and continue to promotion to the Division A and be amongst the best European American football nations.

However, despite the loss, Serbia has impressed with the level of quality and the potential that, with no doubt, is a result of the years of hard work and continues development of the sport in the country.


Photo credit: Igor Lazarevic

Even though they have failed to reach the Division A and be among the best European American Football Countries, Serbia can be considered as the frontrunner of the American football when it comes the professionalism and popularity among all of the regional countries (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc.) The lack of sponsors, government support, lack of media representation and the infrastructural problems, are issues that the teams in Serbia are dealing with, but still the development of the American football is something that is unstoppable. The best proof of is that the league has become very attractive for foreign players and coaches, who are joining some of the local teams, thus increasing the quality of the league, and assuring the future growth of the game in Serbia.

American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!