FK Slavija Beograd have fallen on hard times in recent seasons and find themselves down in the fifth tier Prva Beogradska Liga (First Belgrade League). Slavija won the fourth tier Belgrade Zone league in 2010/11 gaining promotion to the Srpska League (Belgrade Region). After just one season at the third tier though the club finished in last place, 12 points adrift of safety. The rot had set and the following campaign of 2012/13 saw them relegated again.
It was fairly difficult to establish exactly where FK Slavija call home but eventually we found out that their Grupa A game was being played at the Stadion Mladi Obilić, currently home to Grupa B side Mladi Proleter (Young Proleterians). Mladi Obilić were the satellite club of FK Obilić the only club to win the Serbian Super Liga title other than Partizan or Red Star. More notoriously Obilić had been owned by the warlord and career criminal Željko Ražnatović better known as the paramilitary leader Arkan during the Balkan War. He was also the one time leader of the Red Star ultras group the Delije. He was assassinated before his trial for war crimes in January 2000. Mladi Obilić themselves folded in 2006 bought to their knees by corruption and financial problems.
The stadium has certainly seen better days. Broken seating, run down changing facilities and a truly atrocious pitch make things difficult for the two teams. What the ground does have is a strange tower at the entrance gate which has an open roof terrace room that looks out over Belgrade and beyond to the lustrous blue waters of the mighty River Danube. Its well worth scaling the stairs for a few minutes looking out over one of the cities highest points.
The game itself is low on quality, the bumpy unrolled pitch making control less than easy. Vzelats gives Slavija the lead after ten minutes and that proves to be the only goal of the opening half. The visitors, FK 13 Maj moved veteran right back Sasha Pantić up front and he promptly levelled the scores with a deft finish. Two minutes later Bustić gave 13 Maj the lead before Dragutinović restored parity for Slavija. However, it was Pantić who was to have the last word scoring his second after 66 minutes to give the points to the visitors.
Slavija were a welcoming club clearly a little down on their luck. We can only hope the struggling club can revive their flagging fortunes since they celebrated their centenary two years ago.
Saturday April 26th 2014 – Prva Beogradska Liga (Grupa A)
FK Slavija (1) 2 (Vzelats 10, Dragutinović 63)
FK 13 Maj (0) 3 (Pantić 50,66, Bustić 52)
Att: 28 (at Stadion Mladi Obilić)
1. Milos Jovicanvić, 2. Stefan Pavlović, 3. Ivan Grbović, 4. Lazsar Vasić, 5. Stefan Jelavats, 6. Mirko Lazić, 7. Petar Vzelats, 8. Predrag Folić, 9. Stefan Karajanković, 10. Branko Dragutinović, 11. Stefan Marković.
Subs: 14. Srijan Papo; 15. Srijan Pavlović (for 8,34 mins), 16. Vladimir Martinović (for 11, 58 mins), 17. Bojan Kosijer, 18. Sasha Stanojević.
1. Petar Antić, 2. Sasha Pantić, 3. Filip Tasić, 4. Nikola Rajak, 5. Dušan Jelicić, 6. Aleksa Mitić, 7. Zhivorad Kostić, 8. Aleksandar Pupavats, 9. Aleksandar Belagajević, 10. Nemanja Belegić, 11. Marko Bustić.
Sub: 13. Davo Zuka (for 9,58 mins)