Erbil and Fenerbahce Seek to Strengthen Relations
Aiming to reinforce their relations with Erbil Football Club, a delegation from the Turkish famous football club, Fenerbahce, visited the Kurdish capital city of Erbil last Monday. The delegation consisted of Nihat Ozdemir, the Deputy President of the club and some of the club board members.
The delegation visited Erbil Club and met with Masoud Abdulkhaliq, Erbil Club deputy president, and Safeen Kanaby, Kurdistan Football Association (KFA) president.
After expressing his glad feelings over the visit, Ozdemir, said “We are pretty much aware of the sports conditions in Iraq and have information about Erbil Sports Club activities in particular. We always follow up the sporting events in the country through TV channels,”
Nihat Ozdemir is currently a board member of the Turkish Super Lig football club giant Fenerbahce SK. He is currently serving his fourth two-year term since Aziz Yıldırım's board came to power. His titles are "Deputy President" and "Press Spokesman" of the club. He has also has received a mechanical engineering degree and sits as the chairman of the Limak Holding board. He resigned as deputy president of Fenerbahce on August 25, 2011.
Ozdemir reiterated that he will try to bring his football team, Fenerbahce, to Kurdistan Region in order to play a friendly match with Erbil FC in the future.
“We realized that our team has a big number of fans in Kurdistan region, so we want the fans here to closely see the team’s performance level. After we played the game here, I will make sure to invite Erbil board members to attend a team’s match either in Turkish domestic league or in Euro League,” he noted
Ozdemir also promised to open a training camp for Erbil FC in Turkey and to take the responsibility of all the costs.
The possibility of opening a football academy in Kurdistan was also discussed in the meeting. The delegation confirmed that they have a long term project plan to submit to the Kurdish Government.
Fenerbahce is the fourth club aiming to open academy in the region after Real Madrid already signing a contract to open four schools in Erbil, Sulaimaniya, Duhok and Kalar to train young Kurdish soccer players; Internazionale from Italy and Sporting Lisbon from Portugal also have shown their interests to launch soccer schools as well.
The Turkish giant club of Fenerbahce was founded nearly a century ago in the province of Kadiköy in Istanbul. The first emblem of the club is the Lighthouse which is situated on Fenerbahce cape whilst the first colors of the club are the colors of the daffodils, white and yellow, scattered around the Fenerbahce peninsula. The emblem and colors were to be changed in 1910 when the badge was redesigned by Topuz Hikmet and the colors were changed as Yellow and Navy.
Fenerbahce joined the Istanbul League in 1909 but achieved nothing in its first three seasons. In the 1912-13 season, a team with Ali Said, Galip, Arif, Izzi, Huseyin, Sabri, Hikmet, Said, Hasan Kamil, Nuri and Mico win the first championship of the club. Apart from being the first championship it had more significance as it was won without a single defeat throughout the season.
Erbil Club deputy president, Masoud Abdulkhaliq, gives a present to Fenerbahce club deputy president, Nihat Ozdemir in Erbil, January 20, 2013.