Football has returned to Syria for first time in seven years. The first official Syrian League football match in the northern city of Hassakeh is the first match in the war-ravaged region in 7 years due to the security situation.
The Islamic state group controlled a greater part of the province, cutting off most of the city’s access roads until an offensive by forces of the US-led international coalition forced it to recede.
According to Al-jazeera Football Club President, Abdel Nasser Kirko,security has revived football in the region.
“After 7 years of absence from Hassaké‘s sports, the city has become safe again, thanks to the efforts of the Syrian army. And this security allows us to bring teams into the fields because the roads are safe again. The city is stable, and it brings sportsmanship back to Hassakéh governorate.”
Football fans were delighted to make a return to the stadium despite losing friends to the nearly six-year war.
Al-jazeera football club fan, Ahmad, said, “It’s a historic game for the club, and we hope to win this game, and get back to the top level. We want to play outside the region, but also in the heart of Hassaké security has returned thankfully.”
Football action in Syria stalled since the conflict erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests, where more than 310,000 people have been killed and millions have fled their homes.