Football Federation of the Soviet Union

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Football Federation of USSR
Soviet Union football federation.png
Founded 27 December 1934
Headquarters Moscow, Russian SFSR
FIFA affiliation 1946 - 1991
UEFA affiliation 1954 (since 1992 as Russian Football Union)
President (see chairmen list below)

The Football Federation of USSR (Russian: Федерация футбола СССР) was a governing body of football in the Soviet Union and since 1972 the main governing body of football in the country. The Federation was created late in 1934 by the decision of the Supreme Council of Physical Culture of the USSR (Russian: Высший Совет Физической Культуры, VSFK) as its sports section governing specifically football. It was the only organization that obtained recognition of FIFA in 1946.


After the establishment of the Soviet regime in the former Russian Empire all its former affiliations abroad were discontinued. Football life in the country however has not stopped. In July 1920 there took place the first championship of the Russian SFSR that was won by the collective city team of Moscow. In September 1923 took place the first championship of the Soviet Union which was won also by team of Moscow. In August 1928 the first Spartakiad took place in Moscow (not to confuse with the Spartakiade of People's of USSR) which included a football tournament.

On 27 May 1934, the "Distinguished Master of Sports" achievement award was established, and given to eight footballers that same year.

On 27 December 1934, the All-Union Council of Physical Culture (VSFK) of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union (TsIK USSR) established a special public organization - the Football Section of USSR - in charge of football events in the country. However, along with the Football Section, there also existed the Football Directorate of the Soviet Sports Committee, subordinated directly to the Soviet government.

First Memorable exhibition games

On 30 August 1935 the national team of the Ukrainian SSR beat Red Star Olympique (from France) 6:1. Goals were scored by Shylovsky (3), Parovyshnikov (2), Shchehodsky. Team roster of UkrSSR (2-3-5): Ya.Trusevych - K.Fomin (captain), D.Kirillov - M.Fomin, V.Fomin, V.Hreber - M.Makhynya, P.Parovyshnikov, K.Shchehodsky, P.Laiko, V.Shylovsky. Next month a collective team of Prague visited the Soviet Union playing against team of Leningrad, Moscow, and UkrSSR. In January 1936 the Moscow team consisting of players from Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow visited Racing Paris to which they lost 1:2. A single goal for the Soviets was scored by Yakushyn. Team roster of Moscow (2-3-5): A.Akimov - Al.Starostin (captain), L.Korchebokov - A.Ryomin, And.Starostin, S.Leuta - A.Lapshyn (V.Stepanov, 46), M.Yakushyn, V.Smirnov, V.Pavlov (M.Velichkin, 86), S.Ilyin all coached by M.Kvashnin and N.Starostin.

In 1936 the Section of Football of USSR established the Soviet Top League as a championship among teams of Volunteer Sports Sovcieties (DSO) and agencies introducing four hierarchal groups (leagues) of eight teams.

On 22 July 1937 for the first time TsIK USSR given awards to 38 best Soviet sportsmen among which were 12 football players. The first recipient of Order of Lenin among football players became Nikolai Starostin. The Order of the Red Banner of Labour received Alexander Starostin and Sergei Ilyin, other nine players received Order of the Badge of Honor.

During World War II (1941–1944) the main football events were suspended, however there were several regional competitions. When the Soviet Union was liberated from the occupation of Nazi Germany in August 1944 took place next national cup competition as the first post-war official football event.

In July 1946 the Football Section of USSR was excepted to FIFA on the proposition of delegates from Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia and on 27 September 1947 USSR was awarded a permanent seat of the vice-president of FIFA which was taken by Valentin Granatkin. Being accepted to FIFA the main football national team of the Soviet Union however did not compete at the FIFA World Cup until 1958. The first coach appointed was Boris Arkadiev who in 1952 led the team to the Olympic games in Helsinki. He later along with several other football specialist was accused of sabotaging team that was eliminated in the Round of 16 of the tournament.

In January 1957 the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of USSR awarded Order of Lenin to Vsevolod Bobrov and Lev Yashin to commemorate their achievements in sport.

In May 1959 the Football Section of USSR was reorganized as the Football Federation of USSR.

In 1960 the national team of the Soviet Union won the first continental championship beating the national team of Yugoslavia 2:1 in overtime.

In 1963 Lev Yashin became first Soviet player who was recognized as the best European footballer.

For the first time in 1965-66 season the Soviet football clubs debuted in the European international football competitions.

In 1972 the Football Federation of USSR became a government agency of State Committee of Sports (Goskomsport), however because Granatkin continued to chair the Football Federation that reorganization did not drew much attention from FIFA.[1]

Dynamo Kyiv became the first Soviet club to win a European club trophy, when they defeated Ferencvaros 3–0 in the 1975 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup Final.

In 1988 Lev Yashin received the golden order of FIFA "For service" and in March 1990 was recognized as the Hero of Socialist Labour. Next month the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of USSR awarded the Hero of Socialist Labour to Nikolai Starostin as well.

On 8 February 1992 the federation recognized as the parent association of the newly established Russian Football Union (RFS). In July of the same year the Executive Committee of FIFA confirmed the succession of the Soviet federation as the Russian Football Union and readmitted it under the new name and statute.

Regional Federations


  • Vyacheslav Koloskov (January 1990 - 1991)
  • L.Lebedev (May 1989 - January 1990)
  • B.Topornin (December 1980 - May 1989)
  • B.Fedosov (March 1973 - December 1980)
  • Valentin Granatkin (June 1968 - March 1973)
  • L.Nikonov (January 1968 - June 1968)
  • V.Moshkarkin (July 1967 - January 1968)
  • N.Riashentsev (January 1964 - July 1967)
  • Valentin Granatkin (6 May 1959 - January 1964)
Chairmen of Football Section of USSR (27 December 1934 - 6 May 1959)
  • Valentin Granatkin (1950 - 6 May 1959)
  • Mikhail Kozlov (1937 - ?)
  • Aleksei Sokolov (27 December 1934 – 1937)
Chairmen of Football Directorate of Soviet Sports Committee (27 December 1934 – 1972)
  • Valentin Antipyonok (? - ?)
  • Alexander Starostin (1956–1958)
  • Alexander Starostin (1937–1941)

The first team coaches

  • Boris Arkadiev 1952 Olympics (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Gavriil Kachalin 1956 Olympics (qualifying and final tournaments), 1958 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments), 1960 European Championship (qualifying and final tournaments), 1962 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Nikita Simonyan (acting)
  • Konstantin Beskov 1964 European championship (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Nikolai Morozov 1966 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Mikhail Yakushin 1968 European championship (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Gavriil Kachalin 1970 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Valentin Nikolayev 1972 European championship (qualifying tournament)
  • Aleksandr Ponomarev 1972 European championship (final tournament), 1972 Olympics (final tournament)
  • Yevgeniy Goryansky 1974 World Cup (qualifying tournament, failed to qualify)
  • Konstantin Beskov (replaced by Valeriy Lobanovsky) 1976 European championship (qualifying tournament, failed to qualify), 1976 Olympics (final tournament)
  • Nikita Simonyan (replaced by Konstantin Beskov) 1978 World Cup (qualifying tournament, failed to qualify) 1980 European Championship (qualifying tournament, failed to qualify)
  • Konstantin Beskov 1982 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Valeriy Lobanovsky 1984 European championship (qualifying tournament, failed to qualify)
  • Eduard Malofeyev 1986 World Cup (qualifying tournament)
  • Valeriy Lobanovsky 1986 World Cup (final tournament), 1988 European championship (qualifying and final tournaments), 1990 World Cup (qualifying and final tournaments)
  • Anatoliy Byshovets 1992 European championship (qualifying and final tournaments)


  1. ^ Football of double subordination
  2. ^ History of the Football Federation of Kazakhstan

External links

  • Russia (USSR) National Football Team
  • Main events in the history of the Soviet Federation of Football
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