Türkiye launches Euro 2024 bid in Armenia

Türkiye launches Euro 2024 bid in Armenia

Türkiye launches Euro 2024 bid in Armenia

Turkish national football team begins its quest for a place in the 2024 European Championships in an away game against Armenia on March 25 in Yerevan.

The game may add to recent diplomatic efforts for reconciliation between the two neighboring countries.

On the pitch, it looks set to be a tricky group for Türkiye to advance from, as Croatia is a major competition regular and Wales has reached three of the last four major tournaments.

With those two nations facing off in Split on the same night, Türkiye must make a fast start with one or potentially both of the sides guaranteed to drop points on opening night.

Türkiye cruised to promotion in the Nations League after remarkably finding itself down in League C, but the team completely took its eye off the ball, drawing at home to Luxembourg and losing in the Faroe Islands after promotion was secured.

They are the only two blips in Türkiye’s last eight matches since it lost to Portugal in a World Cup playoff, winning its other six matches since.

Türkiye and Armenia were drawn together in qualifying for the 2010 World Cup, with Türkiye winning both games home and away 2-0.
The match comes at a time when the tense relations between the two neighbors thaw.

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan paid a visit to Türkiye on Feb. 15 and held talks with Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu in the Turkish capital Ankara to express his country’s solidarity with Türkiye in the wake of the Feb. 6 deadly earthquakes, which claimed more than 50,000 lives.

Mirzoyan also visited Adıyaman, one of the quake-hit provinces where the Armenian teams were delivering humanitarian aid.

“Armenia has offered a hand of friendship and solidarity in our difficult time,” Çavuşoğlu said at a joint press conference with Mirzoyan. “Armenia sent a team of 28 personnel for search and rescue. They worked heartily to save lives. I want to express my thanks once again.”

Türkiye and Armenia are running a process for normalizing the relationship after more than a 30-year-long incommunicado due to the latter’s occupation of Azerbaijani land in the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The two sides launched talks to establish normal ties after the Armenia-Azerbaijan war in 2020, which ended with the victory of the Azeri troops.

For his part, Mirzoyan underlined the need for international solidarity and cooperation in responding to such big disasters, and his government wanted to help Türkiye in line with this principle. “I want to thank you for your commending words,” the Armenian minister told Çavuşoğlu.

The recent thaw in ties recalls the memories of the two countries’ previous encounter, which led to “football diplomacy” after the World Cup qualifying draw brought the two countries under the same group.

Upon the invitation of the president of Armenia of the time, Serzh Sargsyan, Abdullah Gül, then Turkish president, traveled to Armenia for the first game to be played on Sept. 6, 2008.

It was the first contact between Türkiye and Armenia at the highest level since 1993. Sarkisyan also traveled to Türkiye for the second game played in Bursa on Oct. 14, 2009.

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