FOOTBALL & TURKEY
TURKISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION AND ITS FOOTBALL HISTORY
The very popular sport football , was brought for the first time to Turkey in the second half of the 19th century when some Englishmen, trading tobacco and cotton, came to the main harbour towns of the Ottoman Empire. In the beginning they played football with each other. Later on they presented this game to their Turkish neighbours.
According to the records, the first football match on Turkish grounds was played in Salonika in 1875. After then football was played in Istanbul and Izmir. In this period football only was played between English and Greek people. The first Turkish league, named “Istanbul League”, football was played previously between the Englishmen and Greeks.
But some Turkish young sportsmen, who loved this game at once, began to play football on the meadowlands, without respecting any rules. These young Turkish football players formed the first Turkish team and played their first match on the 26th October 1901 against the Greek team. Then the club Galatasaray, founded in 1905, became the first Turkish club entering the Istanbul Football League. When the clubs Fenerbahce and Besiktas had also entered in this league, the real period of Turkish football teams formed with Turkish players in the history of Turkish football had begun.
In the years of the first world war and some military occupations in Turkey, Turkish teams began to play some matches against the occupation forces. After this, playing football became more important, because winning the matches against the teams of the occupation forces were treated like a national matter. A very strong football love widened to the whole nation easily. After this period football in Turkey started to develop very fast and treating football like a ‘national matter’ continued until now.
When we take a look at the earlier times, where Turkish national teams began to enter in international competitions, we see that Turkish national teams have had more failures than successes. Turkey took place in lower parts of the world ranking lists for a long time. In Europe and also all around the world Turkish football and its players were known very little.
After the 90’s Turkish football began to develop and to improve itself. Together with the improving and developing political and economical situation of Turkey, Turkish football was getting better. Foreign technical directors come to Turkey in order to train Turkish teams. Also people all around the world began to pay attention to Turkish football. Clubs from European Football Leagues began to transfer Turkish football players. In this way, Turkish football acquired very precious experiences and began to come up in the world.
Especially our young players have achieved very good reputations in Europe with their excellent technical playing style.
Our U-16 and U-18 National Teams had achieved to be the champions and to get degrees in the European Youth Championships and the Mediterranean Championships. Regarding our A-National Team, we see that in the past Turkey had only qualified for the first and last time in the finals of the World Cup in 1954. Also A- National team had participated in the finals of EURO 96. However Our aim is changed incredibly now. We have qualified for the the FIFA World Cup in 2002 in Korea/Japan and want to reach at least the quarter finals of 2002 World Cup.
At this stage Turkish football is at a very important point. Turkish national teams are struggling with the strongest teams in the world and are getting more and more successful results. We would like to emphasize that the most important aim of the President, Mr.Haluk Ulusoy and the Executive Committee of the Turkish Football Association is to continue this trend of success and to widen the horizons of the Turkish Football for all teams.
Furthermore we would also like to say that it has always been an advantage for us, getting the experiences of foreign technical directors and players but now Turkish Teams in National level are led purely by Turkish Technical Directors and coaches. Also in our leagues you generally can find Turkish coaches, who are at the position to be transferred to foreign clubs. As a matter of fact we would like to mention that our players are currently playing for well known European Clubs. It is also important for us to find new Turkish talents from local clubs, or those playing in foreign leagues, and to gain them for the Turkish national teams. We are sure that future is going to bring more success to our National Teams in all levels and to our country.
TURKISH FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION
Adress: Konaklar Mahallesi
Ihlamurlu Sok. No: 9
4. Levent - ÝSTANBUL
Tel: +90-212-282 70 20
Faks: +90-212-282 70 12
Number of Licenced Players:
Older than 18
18 and elder