Syrian football players who escaped from their country due to the Syrian Civil War re-formed their national team in Turkey’s southern province of Mersin.
Civilians from Syria started escaping the violence in their country in large numbers with the escalation of the war in 2012
The team’s coach Marwan Mona stated that “football was banned in our country. The regime attacks everywhere, [they have] killed football players. When Turkey welcomed us, we came as a team. We have a lot of opportunities to practice in Turkey.”
The Syrian football players applied to The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) and the Turkish Football Federation (TFF) to be recognised as the National Syrian Football Team.
The Turkish Ministry of Youth and Sports provided the Syrian team with a football pitch to continue their practice.
The coach, Mona said that TFF recognised the team as the Syrian National Football Team.
“[The] Syrian regime kills national football players when they learn that they will come to Turkey or torture their families. For this reason, only two football players can come to Turkey each month.” Mona said.
The team prepared a detailed folder consisting of the structure on how the Syrian regime has damaged the football team and Turkey welcomed their application for FIFA
If FIFA approves their application, they will be eligible to participate in tournaments against other teams.
More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria since the civil war started in 2011 between the Syrian regime and the opposition forces.
One of the most preferred destinations for Syrian refugees is the neighbouring Turkey.
Turkey hosts over 1.7 million Syrian refugees in addition to 300,000 Iraqi refugees.