Speaking at the Premier Summit 2 in Istanbul, President Erdoğan said: “I believe politics and football share many common aspects at the core. Just like sports, the essence of politics is competition, race. The first phase of this race is about coming out ahead in the elections and the second phase is about serving people after you assume responsibility. Just as a team, playing without any plan, tactic or strategy, have zero chance of winning the cup, politicians, political parties that have nothing to tell the people have no chance of success.”
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan delivered a speech at the Premier Summit 2, held at Haliç Congress Center in Istanbul by the Turkish Union of Clubs. Executives of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), the International Olympic Committee (IOC), NBA, Bundesliga, La Liga, the International Football Association Board (IFAB), leading figures of the Turkish and global football industry, executives of the Turkish Football Federation and footballers attended the summit held with the support of beIN Sports with the aim of boosting the brand value of Turkish football. Minister of Youth and Sports Akif Çağatay Kılıç, Governor of Istanbul Vasip Şahin, Mayor of Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality Kadir Topbaş were also present at the event.
“FOOTBALL IS ABOUT COMPETITION AND ALSO SOLIDARITY”
“Sports, football in particular, bring together different identities, characters, stories. Football is not just another branch of sports. It is way beyond that. Football is about competition and also sacrifice. It is about fair play, friendship and solidarity. In order to win this game, you need not only the individual talents of the players but also the strong support of the executives, technical support, and also harmony among them. The solidarity between the executives, the players, the referee, the technical staff certainly will give the same joy and excitement to the audience. The game requires you do not give up till the referee blows the final whistle and in that game, there is no room for despair,” the President said.
“JUST LIKE SPORTS, THE ESSENCE OF POLITICS IS COMPETITION”
“As a brother of yours, who has loved football since childhood, played football in various clubs during his youth, -I am not a professional but amateur- I know what a man can gain from it. At every stage of my life, I have benefited from the discipline, team work, fidelity, all qualities this game taught me. I believe politics and football share many common aspects at the core. Just like sports, the essence of politics is competition, race. The first phase of this race is about coming out ahead in the elections and the second phase is about serving people after you assume responsibility. Politics is a team game just like football. And it requires a solid team. Just as a team, playing without any plan, tactic or strategy, have zero chance of winning the cup, politicians, political parties that have nothing to tell the people have no chance of success. Just like football, politics cannot be done without passion, love and dedication. You have to dedicate yourself,” President Erdoğan said.
“WE BUILT NEW STADIUMS IN MANY CITIES”
“1575 sport facilities had been built in the history of the Republic until 2002. In the last 14 years, we have added 1924 new ones. There were 12 athletics tracks. We have increased it to 52. Efforts for 10 more tracks are underway. We have increased the number of artificial-grass football fields from 578 to 3238. There were 46 semi-olympic/olympic pools. In the last 14 years, we have added 78 new ones. We have increased the number of sports halls from 372 to 825. We have built outstanding new stadiums in many cities.
“WE SHOULD INVEST IN MEN TO ADVANCE FOOTBALL”
Noting that Turkey hosted 659 international sports organizations since 2003 and made great progress in infrastructure, President Erdoğan said: “We have proved our adequacy. Many of our cities, including Istanbul, Erzurum, Antalya, Trabzon, Mersin, are always ready for international competitions with the modern facilities they have.”
“Football, just like everything else, exists with men. We have to invest in men the most in order to advance football,” President Erdoğan said.