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Third Football League
Founded1991 (as Treća HNL)
Country Croatia
Number of teams74 (in 5 groups)
Level on pyramid4
Promotion to2. NL
Relegation to1. ŽNL
Domestic cup(s)Hrvatski kup
Current: 2023–24

The Third Football League (Croatian: Treća nogometna liga), commonly Treća NL or 3. NL, is the fourth tier of the Croatian football league system. The league was reestablished in 2022 following the reconstruction of league system in Croatia. It is operated by the Croatian Football Federation.[1]


The fourth Croatian football league was played for the first time in 2006, after the merger of the 2. HNL - North and 2. HNL - South into a single 2. HNL. With the aforementioned changes, part of the clubs from the second league were relegated to the 3. HNL, and part of the clubs from the third leagues, together with the best clubs of the county leagues, formed the newly created groups of the 4. HNL. After the dissolution of the 4. HNL in 2012, inter-county football leagues corresponding to the previous groups of the 4th HNL were founded in some areas.

In earlier championships, the fourth class of football leagues was represented by the First County Football League, except in the 1995–96 seasons and in 1996–97, when with the creation of the 1. B HNL (which in reality represented the second class), the fourth competitive class was actually represented by the 3. HNL. In the 1994–95 season, there was also the 4. HNL, which was then created as a successor to the regional leagues, but did not survive for more than one season, and then functioned under that name only in the territory of Northern Croatia.


The competition takes place in five groups of up to eighteen (18) clubs according to the double point system, and the exact number of participants is determined by the competition regulations. From each group, the last placed club and as many asnecessary for the groups to number 16 clubs must be eliminated.[2]

Groups are formed and managed in the HNS regional centers:



Season Division Center Division West Division East Division South Division North
2006–07 Lokomotiva Zagreb (group A)
Polet Buševac (group B)
Rovinj Slavija Pleternica Neretvanac Opuzen (group A)
Hrvace (group B)
Omladinac Novo Selo Rok (group A)
Virovitica (group B)
2007–08 Maksimir (group A)
Metalac Sisak (group B)
Grobničan Đakovo Split (group A)
Raštane (group B)
Mladost Prelog (group A)
Podravac (group B)
2008–09 Špansko (group A)
Zelina (group B)
Crikvenica Lipik Uskok (group A)
Polača (group B)
Sloboda Varaždin (group A)
Kalinovac (group B)
2009–10 Radnik Sesvete (group A)
Dugo Selo (group B)
Opatija Otok Mladost Proložac (group SD)
BŠK Zmaj Blato (group DN)
Polača (group ŠK-ZD)
Podravina (group A)
Slatina (group B)
2010–11 Dubrava (group A)
Stupnik (group B)
Vinodol BSK Bijelo Brdo Krka Lozovac (group A)
Val Kaštel Stari (group B)
Nedeljanec (group A)
Mladost Ždralovi (group B)
2011–12 Maksimir (group A)
Bistra (group B)
Naprijed Bedem Ivankovo Krka Lozovac (group A)
Kamen Ivanbegovina (group B)
Župa Dubrovačka (group C)
didn't exist



Club gained promotion to the 2. NL
Season Division Center Division West Division East Division South Division North
2022–23 Karlovac 1919 Krk Slavonija Požega Zagora Unešić Radnik Križevci


  1. ^ "Iduće sezone igra se zadnji put u ovakvom formatu" [The next season will be played for the last time in this format]. (in Croatian). 11 May 2021. Retrieved 7 July 2022.
  2. ^ "Odluka o sustavu stalnih natjecanja" [Decision on the system of permanent competitions] (PDF). HNS (in Croatian). 29 June 2022. Retrieved 7 June 2022.