Grassroots football tournament in rural Deir Ezzor

The Spring Tournament for the Popular Neighborhoods in rural Deir Ezzor - February 25, 2024 (Enab Baladi)

The Spring Tournament for the Popular Neighborhoods in rural Deir Ezzor - February 25, 2024 (Enab Baladi)


Deir Ezzor – Obadah al-Sheikh

A football tournament titled “Spring Football Tournament” kicked off on February 20 in the popular neighborhoods of Darnaj town in rural eastern Deir Ezzor.

The tournament features 12 teams from Deir Ezzor governorate, namely: “Darnaj, al-Moalemeen, al-Sakib, al-Shanan, al-Munasara, Shabab Darnaj, al-Karama, al-Rayyan, al-Hawayej, Shabab Abu Hardoub, al-Ittihad Suweidan.”

Each team consists of 30 athletes, including players and the coaching and medical staff, and is overseen by the General Sports Federation in Deir Ezzor, which operates in areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (which represents the political side of the Syrian Democratic Forces).

The General Sports Federation imposed a uniform dress code on all participating teams, and the tournament takes place on the Darnaj dirt field, offering prizes for the winning team that include a cup and a medal, along with similar prizes for the best player, top scorer, and goalkeeper.

The head of the General Sports Federation for football in rural Deir Ezzor, Hassan al-Salem, told Enab Baladi that the Spring Tournament for the Popular Neighborhoods was launched with a match between the teams Darnaj and al-Moalemeen, which ended in favor of Darnaj. He added that more tournaments will be opened in the popular neighborhoods throughout Deir Ezzor, in a step aimed at supporting sports and encouraging talent.

Criticism of the current situation and demands for support

Despite the recurring organization of tournaments in the rural areas of Deir Ezzor, the sports sector in both the eastern and western rural parts of Deir Ezzor, within the areas managed by AANES suffers from a lack of support and neglect, especially at the level of football.

Khaled al-Sulaiman, the coach of the Darnaj team participating in the Spring Tournament, expressed his discontent with the service reality of sports in rural Deir Ezzor, considering it “very bad” from the condition of the dirt pitches, which are considered inappropriate due to difficult financial conditions.

He explained that the federation’s conditions in the Spring Tournament regarding the uniform dress code financially burdened the teams and that this obligation imposes an additional burden on the small clubs that face financial difficulties, negatively affecting aspects of preparation and participation in the tournament.

Al-Sulaiman pointed to the necessity of improving the infrastructure of the fields and providing financial support to the clubs to stimulate local talents.

Player Marwan from the Shabab Darnaj team said that sports in Deir Ezzor need support concerning infrastructure and financial backing for the teams.

He pointed out that there are many talents that need support to emerge and called for efforts to boost sports across all age groups.

Promises to support sports

Hassan al-Salem mentioned that the federation has preliminarily equipped five stadiums in various areas, noting that these efforts come within the framework of working to improve sports in rural Deir Ezzor, and that work is currently underway in the al-Harmushia area west of Deir Ezzor to create a hexagonal stadium.

The federation began equipping a sports hall, a kickboxing hall, and another for chess, and they are working to activate all sports, according to al-Salem.

He also pointed out that the federation has set up a program to open centers for children for various sports, and as for the future opening of sports facilities, he mentioned that they are under construction and require more time.

Football gains popularity

For years, the sports sector in the eastern and western rural areas of Deir Ezzor has suffered neglect and lack of support. Nonetheless, the love for football drives both young and old from Deir Ezzor to organize football leagues and six-party matches, which enjoy popular attendance in the region.

Football tops the residents’ hobbies, as it has become the only sport that the people in the region are keen to organize leagues for in various towns and villages within the governorate or to join tournaments in other governorates.

The weak service interest and lack of funding are general problems in areas under the Autonomous Administration control, where football teams across the Euphrates from al-Hasakah to Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria suffer from a lack of attention.


النسخة العربية من المقال

Propaganda distorts the truth and prolongs the war..

Syria needs free media.. We need your support to stay independent..

Support Enab Baladi..

$1 a month makes a difference..

Click here to support