AANES imposes licensing of sports clubs to “regulate their work”

A match between Gharanij club and al-Sakib club took place on the grounds of the Darnaj Stadium within the Deir Ezzor league - November 14, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Obadah al-Sheikh)

A match between Gharanij club and al-Sakib club took place on the grounds of the Darnaj Stadium within the Deir Ezzor league - November 14, 2023 (Enab Baladi/Obadah al-Sheikh)


The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) stated that the sports union, part of its Youth and Sports Authority, held a meeting with the sports clubs licensing committees to issue a licensing system for sports clubs in its controlled areas.

According to what it published on its official website, the sports union formed specialized committees on Tuesday, April 16, to review the applications for sports clubs licenses, with each committee consisting of three members.

The union’s meeting discussed ways and mechanisms for granting licenses to sports clubs and the conditions for their licensing in order to “organize sports and athletes in the region of northeastern Syria.”

The decision of the Autonomous Administration came without announcing the conditions and mechanisms for licensing, but it comes within the framework of “organizing work” on all levels in its controlled areas, as it had previously imposed licensing on the establishment of political parties and other restrictions on the work of journalists and media professionals.

AANES also imposes conditions on residence in its controlled areas for Syrians coming from other provinces controlled by military parties such as the opposition or the Syrian regime.

Since the end of last year, the Youth and Sports Committee in Deir Ezzor has started a plan to build six sports facilities in different areas of the Deir Ezzor countryside, following years of neglect of the sports sector in the area.

The head of the committee, Yassin al-Khalaf, told Enab Baladi at the time that the Autonomous Administration had launched a tender to invite bids and equip sports facilities.

These facilities include football fields and a sports hall dedicated to women, equipped with security guards and trainers, as the sports committee will employ individuals in them once the construction work is completed, but there was no further talk about the stages of establishing these facilities afterward.

The sports sector in the areas managed by the Autonomous Administration suffers from a lack of support and marginalization, which is evident in football, the most popular sport.

Despite neglect and lack of support, love for the game drives both adults and children to organize football leagues and “six-a-side” matches, which enjoy public turnout in the area.

Football tops the hobbies of the residents, as it has become the only sport that the people of the region organize leagues for in different towns and villages of the province or join championships in other provinces.

Periodic championships are organized in the northeastern regions of Syria, and often the sports union plays a role in the organizational process, but it has not provided any facilities in the interest of the players or the sports clubs for years, according to athletes and coaches previously interviewed by Enab Baladi.



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