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Football club (short: FC) was a designation for the elite football teams in the GDR (German Democratic Republic, commonly East Germany). They were formed in the mid-1960s as centers of high-level football.

After World War II and the occupation of Germany by Allied forces, a separate football competition emerged in the Soviet-held eastern half of the country. The term "FC" continued to be used in its traditional sense in West Germany, but eventually became a specialized designation in the east.

Since the introduction of the Sportclub system in the mid-1950s their football departments had dominated play in the DDR-Oberliga. In late 1965 football was granted a special status in the East German elite sports, when the footballing departments were dissociated from the Sportclubs and - under the new designation of football club - were given the same rights as sport clubs.

This special status of the sports clubs and football clubs as the only centers of elite sports led to an establishment of a two-class society in the DDR-Oberliga: The heavily supported and largely professionalized clubs dominated play in every respect, the best Betriebssportgemeinschaften (BSG) were used as a talent pool. Their players were delegated to the big football clubs. After 1954, when the sportclubs were first established, there is just one instance when a BSG won the DDR-Oberliga: BSG Chemie Leipzig were crowned champions in 1964, however, the team had been formed from two dissolved sportclubs the year before. From 1968 to 1991 only football clubs finished in the top 3 of the DDR-Oberliga.

The football clubs in the GDR

° While the SG Dynamo Dresden was a Sportgemeinschaft (Sports association) by name, they had the same status as the football clubs.

°° Until 1971, the club was based in Berlin and played under the name of Vorwärts Berlin

See also

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