Football Club Sloboda Tuzla is a club from Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina. It was established in 1919. They were the winners of the First League Cup of the Socialist Federation of the Republic of Yugoslavia in 1971 and the Intertoto Cup in 1983.
When the state of Bosnia and Herzegovina became independent Football Club Sloboda had an important role in the championship where it achieved great results. Competing for the Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina it was the finalist seven times and in 2015/16 season it achieved its best after-war success and won the second place in the Premiere League of Bosnia and Herzegovina. In this period Sloboda participated in UEFA Intertoto Cup two times and both times it reached the second round. Once it participated in UEFA European League and had to leave it in the first round.
In October 1919, a local party council made a decision about foundation of Workers’ sport society and a founding assembly had its meeting in the end of 1919. During the meeting of the founding assembly, its secretary Mitar Trifunović Učo proposed the name “Gorki” after Russian writer Maxim Gorky. The proposal was accepted and a football section started its operation within the Society; the first players were from families Mott, Mustačević, Zaboš, Mujezinović, Šifer, Josić, Zafani, Morankić, Mešković, etc. It is interesting that descendants of some of the mentioned are still with us and are great friends of the Football Club Sloboda.
Development of the idea of the Football Club Sloboda
During the next few years the Society was under the pressure which was characteristic for those times and the authorities tended to change the Bolshevik name of the society. In 1923 the Court banned activities of the Society but some activists went on with the activities and ended up in prison. On November 20, 1927 the Workers’ Sport Society Sloboda was founded (along with a football section), thank to persistence of the activists and founders of Gorki. The idea from 1919 and 1927 came from the same persons.
After the Second World War Sloboda started playing in the Zone League and in 1958 it achieved the Yugoslav Second League playing with teams from Slovenia, North-East Croatia and North- West Serbia. Playing in the Yugoslav Second League West and North, Sloboda managed to reach the Yugoslav First League two times and both times managed to play one whole season with the best teams.
Nevertheless, in 1968/69 season, after the barrage with Budućnost from Podgorica, Sloboda managed to reach the Yugoslav First League again and to stay there 22 seasons, until cessation of the former state and its league.
During the period of the Yugoslav First League Sloboda had an important role in Yugoslavian football and the Santos from Tušanj, as Sloboda team was called in the mid 1970s, became the regional football center offering a chance for affirmation to players from contemporary Tuzla Canton, North-Eastern Bosnia and Vojvodina.
Conquering went on
In 1971 FC “Sloboda” won the First League Cup conquering Željezničar with the result 1:0. In the same year Sloboda qualified for the finals of Marshal Tito Cup and it lose two times from Crvena Zvezda, with 0:4 in Tuzli and 2:0 in Belgrade. Sloboda achieved the best results in 1976/77 season when it won the third place in the championship and qualified for UEFA Cup. After being defeated in Las Palmas by its club with the result of 5:0 and a minimum victory in Tuzla with the result of 4:3, “Sloboda” left further competition.
Besides these results, one has to underline a successful participation in the Cup of the Balkans in 1970 and winning the Rapan Cup in 1984. Since from 1968/69 season one introduced a fair-play trophy, FC “Sloboda” won it six times in 19 football championships. 29 football players from FC Sloboda” Tuzla played in representations of ex Yugoslavia.
Since Bosnia and Herzegovina became an independent state, FC “Sloboda” Tuzla has had a significant role in championship and has achieved great results. In the competition for the Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina Sloboda reach the finals for six times and in 2008/2009 season it repeated its best after-war success (1995/96) and won the third place in the Premiere League. In this period Sloboda participated in UEFA Intertoto Cup two times and it reached the second round both times. It played in the finals of the Cup of Bosnia and Herzegovina two times but was defeated both times: in 2008 by Zrinjski and in 2009 by Slavija, both time by penalty shootouts. 2008/2009 season was the most successful one in the Premiere League. Sloboda played in the finals of the Cup and won the third place and a chance to play in Europe.
After 42 years Sloboda lost its status among the best ones in season 2011/12. One year later it came back to the Premiere League. Namely, Sloboda enters the second half-season of 2013/2014 with selector Miroslavom Blaževićem and with a new management which provides desired players to the new boss and it gets back to the Premiere League. Sloboda is in the Premiere League in 2014/15 season again and in the next season, 2015/2016, it achieves the best after-war success winning the 2nd place in the Premiere League of B&H.