ONE OF Slovakia’s most well known professional football clubs played its last game on Tuesday, June 2. Inter Bratislava beat Michalovce 5:2 in its last game of the season to win the First League title. But the team weren’t able to celebrate promotion to the Corgoň Liga – Slovakia’s top football league – since their licence has been sold. Playing rights will now move to Senica, in western Slovakia.
Inter, along with Slovan Bratislava and Artmedia Bratislava, was one of the capital’s three professional teams. Founded in 1945 as AŠK Apollo, it had a long and successful history, winning the Slovak league as recently as 2000 and 2001 and competing in European club competitions. Its success this season came despite players knowing for several months that their club was about to disappear.
One of Inter’s leading players, Pavol Sedlák, told The Slovak Spectator that by the end they were “playing for pride”. Sedlák, who scored two of Inter’s goals against Michalovce, paid tribute to the club’s small band of devoted fans.
“It’s the most paradoxical end for a club. The only people whose hearts were in it were the players, the coaches and a few devoted fans. The soccer association, management, and the public – except for the fans – couldn’t care less.”