Rumours circulating in Yerevan that up to 10 000 Turkish fans intend to come to World Cup qualifying match between Armenia and Turkey on 6 September in Yerevan. The hope is that the main Hrazdan stadium reconstruction would be finished by then. Otherwise, it would be a tough task to accommodate local and Turkish fans in much smaller Republican stadium. The other tough task, unrelated to the stadium issue, is to prevent any possible nationalist outburst from both sides, and especially from host’s side of course. All eyes will be on nationalist ARF Dashnaktsutyun party. It’s like a ‘dream coming true’ for them. At last they would have a chance to ‘show-off’ themselves (as a ‘substitute’ for their failed internal standing). Hopefully, more mature and cold-headed fraction in the party would prevail.
The importance of this football match went well beyond sporting significance as it is expected that Turkish president might accept his Armenian counterpart’s invitation and visit Armenia, for the first time ever. “Football diplomacy” between our countries became THE topic of discussion in recent months in what some consider as a possibility of a “breakthrough” in Armenia-Turkey relations.
Armenia-Turkey: a breakthrough? (Serj Sargsyan - 100 days in the office)
Armenia head of state proposes a 'fresh start' to Turkey via football diplomacy
Will football help to ease the tension in Armenia-Turkey relations?
Armenia - Turkey: a little bit of football history was made in Armenian town Abovyan
Armenia vs Turkey: 2010 FIFA World Cup draw