Football, Association: Originally from England, football began in 
Austria in 1879 in the secondary school system. The first football 
club match ("Akademisch-Technischer Radfahrverein") took place in 1894 
in Graz; the same year, clubs such as the First Vienna Football Club ( 
Vienna) and the Vienna Cricket and Football Club ( Cricketer) were 
founded. In 1989 the "Erste Arbeiter-Fussball-Klub", the predecessor 
of the  Rapid Wien football club was founded. In 1904 the Austrian 
Football Association (OeFV) was established, followed by provincial 
associations; in 1901 an international match against Switzerland was 
played, in 1911 the club  Austria Wien was founded and the first 
Austrian championships were held. However, neither a fully recognised 
umbrella organisation nor championships were established on account of 
the national and ideological strife prevailing in the country (German 
and Slav, bourgeois and workers' clubs; anti-Semitism) as well as 
conflicts inherent in the philosophy of sports activities, amateurs 
vs. professionals, gymnasts vs. athletes). By 1907 some 300 clubs were 
active in Austria (70 in Vienna, of which only 30 were members of the 
Football Association); in 1912 Austria participated in an Olympic 
tournament for the first time.

Between World War I and World War II football began enjoying 
a wide base of popularity and important matches were watched by up to 
80,000 spectators. In 1924-1933 professional football was divided into 
two leagues. In 1927 H.  Meisl initiated the creation of the Mitropa 
Cup. The  Wunderteam celebrated sensational victories in 1931-1932; in 
1936 the Austrian team won the silver medal at the Olympic Games. The 
first radio transmission was broadcast in 1928 on the occasion of an 
international match against Hungary. The strength of the "Vienna 
School" (with excellent technique and "creative play") was still 
prevalent after the Anschluss and the official abolition of the 
professional leagues when Austrian players were integrated into the 
German national team. Austria won the "Anschluss" match, "Ostmark" 
(National Socialist term for Austria) against "Altreich" ("Old 
Reich"), on April 3, 1938, 2 : 0; in 1938 Rapid won the 
German trophy match, in 1943 Vienna emerged victorious; in 1941 Rapid 
became German champion.

In 1945 the Austrian Football Association (OeFB) was re-established 
with nine provincial associations, and international matches soon took 
place. Football was then restructured owing to the establishment of 
the Austrian Football League (groups A and B, each with 14 teams) in 
1949/1950; in 1974/1975 the ten-team league was introduced 
(Division I). From the end of the 1950s until the beginning of 
the 1970s televised broadcasts of matches began and spectator numbers 
at the football stadiums fell. Austria achieved significant 
international success after 1945 by winning 3%%sup rd/%  place in the 
World Championship in Switzerland (1954), 7%%sup th/%  place in the 
1978 World Championship in Argentina and when the Austria-Wien club 
reached the finals of the European Cup competition in the same year, 
followed by Rapid in 1985 and 1996, and by  Austria-Salzburg in1993. 
In 1994/95 Austria Salzburg (then called Casino Salzburg) reached the 
Champions League, followed by Rapid in 1996/97 and  Sturm Graz in 
1998/99. However, all in all Austrian football failed to achieve the 
standard of previous decades.

After a modest start in 1923-1937, women's football began to develop 
in the 1970s (Austrian professional league since 1982/1983); of the 
275,000 members (2000) of the OeFB, organised into 2,235 clubs, 6,000 
are women.

In the last few decades riots and attacks by violent football fans 
have become an increasingly serious problem, especially at 
international matches and championship finals. An accident on the 
Stadtbahn transit line caused by rioting fans in 1977 (44 injured) in 
Vienna was the worst case of football vandalism in Austria to date. 
However, violence between players and spectators also occurred in 
earlier times (WAC against Cricket, in 1901).

Corner; Bundesliga-Journal; Pfiff.

K. Langisch, Geschichte des oesterreichischen Fussballs, 
1965; K. Kastler, Fussball in Oesterreich, 1972; K. Langisch (ed.), 
OeFB. 75 Jahre, 2 vols., without date (1979); Das Fussballmuseum, 
Streifzug durch die Geschichte des OeFB, 1988; W. Zoechling, Fussball, 
1992; Koenig Fussball, Beitraege zur historischen Sozialkunde 3, 
1992; J. Huber, 100 Jahre Fussball - 90 Jahre OeFB, 1993.

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