The historical facts reveal that the Englishmen have spread football all over the world.
During the times of British expansion for different causes all over the world, the Englishmen have settled in the port cities for tobacco and cotton trading in Anatolia and several countries under Ottoman control. Those English families, sailors, soldiers, tradesmen are known to have taken with them football in addition to goods like tobacco pipes or whiskey.
The official documents show that the first football match ever in our country was played in Thessalonica in 1875. Meadows of Bornova in Izmir were first introduced with football in 1877. During the times, Turks were prohibited from performing sports and establishing clubs while the foreigners were allowed. Therefore, the first clubs were founded by the foreigners and non-Muslims and as a result of this the first football matches were played by them as well.
Football in Istanbul was initiated in 1890 and the first football club was "Cadikeu Fuetball Club" founded by English and Greeks in Kadikoy with the contributions of Mr. James La Fontaine and Mr. Herace Armitage in 1902. This club was followed by Moda Football Club and Greek Elpis Club.
Meanwhile the first young Turkish football players could play with foreigners’ names and the first of them was Fuat Husnu Kayacani the naval officer. Kayacan was the first Turkish player to play in English teams with the nickname of “Bobi”.
The first football league in Turkey was held in 1903 with the participation of Imojen, Moda, Kadıkoy and Elpis clubs at Papazin Cayiri where Fenerbahce Stadium today is built. Galatasaray, the first football club totally made up of Turkish players was established in 1905. It was followed by Fenerbahce in 1907, Vefa in 1908, and Besiktas Gymnastic Club whose football branch was launched in 1911. The advance and organization of football began in the Republican period.
Representatives of the Istanbul clubs’ convening in 1922 founded the Turkish Gymnastics Clubs Union (TICI) and attempted for an admission to be a member of FIFA by establishing the Turkish football federation under the name of “Futbol Encumeni” (Football Committee). Turkey was admitted as an associate member in the FIFA convention held in Geneva on 21 May 1923. The Football Federation has come up to present time under the control of Turkish Gymnastics Clubs Union (1922 - 1936), Turkish Sports Association (1936 - 1938), the General Directorate of Physical Education and then the General Directorate of Youth and Sports (since 1938 to present time). At present the Football federation function as an autonomous association under Prime Ministry.
After 90’s Turkish football began to advance and ameliorate. Owing to the political and economical upturns, Turkey and Turkish football keeps improving day by day. Our U-16 and U-18 Junior national teams won the cup in the youth team championships and our national U-21 team have been the winners in the Mediterranean Games and acquired many considerable victories.
Our National A team was qualified to participate in the 1954 World Cup finals. Participating in the European Championship finals in 1996 for the first time and qualifying to join the 2002 World Cup finals, our national team struggled with the world’s strongest teams till the semi-finals and proved its quality by ranking among the world’s best 4 teams.
At present Turkish football has attained a totally significant stage. Turkish national teams have been competing with the prominent teams of the world and reaching new accomplishments. The Turkish clubs manage to get notable achievements as well. Galatasaray, in particular, have made an unprecedented accomplishment for Turkish football by winning the UEFA cup championship.
Turkish Football Federation :www.tff.org.tr