Sunday, 25 November 2007

Armenia vs Turkey - 2010 FIFA World Cup draw

Fantastic draw! That will be THE matches! I will do whatever possible or impossible to be present there. Hope that Armenian and Turkish fans will behave, and we won't witness any ugly scenes, but rather will celebrate the occasion to get to know each other better and use sporting spirit for reconciliation (not destruction!), and a pint of beer? It's funny that football draws frequently bring us with 'sensitive' outcomes. It's more than a fate...

2010 FIFA World Cup Europe draw - Group 5:
Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Armenia, Estonia


artmika said...

BBC today published relevant piece -
World Cup 2010: Playing the enemy:

"The countdown has begun to the 2010World Cup in South Africa - the first in the tournament's history to be held on the continent.

But Sunday's preliminary draw threw up some potentially awkward matches between countries that remain both political and ideological rivals.

Below are several fixtures where it is hoped politics will be kept on the sidelines.

Turkey v Armenia

Turkey and Armenia are neighbours but diplomatic relations have been frozen for more than a decade. Their common border is closed.

The direct dispute is over a matter of history: The deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians in eastern Turkey in 1915-17, during the last days of the Ottoman Empire.

Armenia wants those deaths recognised as genocide. Turkey refuses to accept that term, saying the dead were victims of the general turmoil of World War I.

The two countries have never met on the pitch."

Other examples mentioned in BBC report:

Chad v Sudan
North v South Korea
Colombia v Venezuela
Fiji v New Zealand

artmika said...

via Guardian:

Turkey, Armenia matches to go ahead despite divisions

By Darren Ennis

BRUSSELS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The World Cup qualifying games due to take place between Turkey and Armenia are expected to go ahead despite bitter political divisions between the two countries, UEFA president Michel Platini said on Thursday.

Concerns were expressed about the two fixtures after both countries -- at odds with each other over Turkey's failure to accept that 1.5 million Armenians suffered genocide at the hands of Ottoman Turks -- were drawn in the same qualifying group for the 2010 World Cup

"We met with the associations from Armenia and Turkey and there weren't any problems, they said the games would be played the best possible way," Platini told reporters on a visit to Brussels.

Two Euro 2008 qualifiers between Armenia and Azerbaijan were cancelled in June due to a long-running dispute over land. Turkey shut its border with Armenia in 1993 to protest against Armenia's occupation of territory inside Azerbaijan.

"We had a problem last year between Armenia and Azerbaijan because it was worse than non-existing relationships, there was a problem of extreme tensions and so the executive committee took the decision of cancelling the two games," Platini said.

Up to 1.5 million Armenians died in massacres and mass expulsions in 1915. Armenia and the Armenian diaspora abroad -- backed by many Western historians -- say it was genocide and want foreign states to recognise it as such.

Turkey accepts there were widespread killings, but says they did not amount to genocide. A law in Turkey makes calling the deaths a genocide a criminal offence.

"But as far as Turkey and Armenia are concerned, there hasn't been any indication of a potential problem and the cancellation of matches," Platini said.

Both countries were drawn in Group 5 alongside Spain, Belgium, Bosnia and Estonia. (Editing by Miles Evans)

artmika said...

Armenia - Turkey: A little bit of football history was made in Armenian town Abovyan