Wed 14 Nov 2018

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Sports Projects Lack Specialized Entities in Northern Syria

The construction of a football stadium in the city of al-Rai’, northern countryside of Aleppo (Enab Baladi)

The construction of a football stadium in the city of al-Rai’, northern countryside of Aleppo (Enab Baladi)

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The Turkish state of Kilis, in cooperation with the Civil Council in the city of al-Ra’i in Aleppo, began the construction of the al-Ra’i City Sports Stadium, under a series of projects organized by local organizations supported by Turkish organizations in Aleppo’s northern and western countryside.

The project consists of an 8,000 square meter sports stadium, including a football field with artificial grass, a runway, administrative offices and public facilities.

The project is supervised by the Aid and Humanitarian Assistance Center (IDACOM) and implemented by “Alpydin” Company for Engineering Construction, as Alaa Hamad, Director of the Information Office of the Local Council of the City of al-Ra’i, has told Enab Baladi.

Hamad added that the project will be completed by July 22, referring to two similar projects in the towns of Azaz and Mare’ in rural Aleppo.

Both projects are affiliated with the local councils of the towns where they area established and will be implemented by the same construction company and donor entity.

The Head of the “Syrian Football Federation”, under the “Syrian Sports and Youth Organization”, Nader al-Atrash, hopes there will be a large-scale organization for the development of football and sports in general in Northern Syria, pointing to a misunderstanding with the donors working on these projects because they assigned the projects to the local councils and not the specialized sports bodies, considering this as one of the obstacles faced by the sports sector in general.

Nader al-Atrash, in his interview with Enab Baladi, said that there is an excellent cooperation with Azaz Local Council, while the Federation cooperates with the rest of the councils to work on the sports sector in general, noting that all sports facilities in the province of Idlib are under the hands of the “Salvation Government” and that “Syrian Sports and Youth Organization” cannot approach them.

The local council in the city of al-Ra’i plans to establish a comprehensive sports club in the area under the supervision of former player of al-Hurriya Club and the Syrian National Team Mohamed Shaikhli, as Alaa Hamad has said.

Hamad believes that each council has a club that carries its name, pointing out that the region needs a sports body or a sports committee that organizes tournaments and cares about the sports sector.

He added that there are sports tournaments held by the efforts of people in the area, in addition to an interest from the Turkish side in the establishment of school tournaments, the last was a marathon and a chess championship.

For its part, the “Syrian Football Federation” seeks to establish a league for the regional teams in the governorate of Idlib and then expand it to include the clubs and teams of the governorates of Aleppo, Idleb and Hama, if circumstances permit and find the appropriate facilities were made available.

And between the two governments (Interim and Salvation) on the one hand, and organizations operating in Northern Syria on the other hand, the sports sector remains locked in loss and dispersion despite the many individual efforts to develop it, waiting for a comprehensive sports body for the region, which everyone agrees upon, to fully work on the development and organization of the most popular sector.

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