Various forms of football can be identified in history, often as popular peasant games. Contemporary codes of football can be traced back to the codification of these games at English public schools during the nineteenth century.
In 1888, The Football League was founded in England, becoming the first of many professional football competitions. During the twentieth century, however, several of the various kinds of football grew to become some of the most popular team sports in the world.
Armenian Football: History
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The Armenia national football team represents Armenia in association football.
First Armenian teams were made in Constantinople, Izmir, Smyrna and many other cities within the Ottoman Empire. Some examples are “Paltalymia” in 1904, “Tork” and so on. Football teams were available also in Alexandrapol (now Gyumri), Vagharshapat, Yerevan.
The first game between Armenian and Turkish teams was in 1906. Armenian team called Balta-Liman met with Galatasaray. Later, however, Balta-Liman was dissolved. Two new clubs, then, were founded: Arax and Tork.
After the breakout of World War, I and the Genocide of the Armenians was ordered, all athletic activities have stopped.
The first football match between Yerevan and Alexandrapol teams took place in 1920 at Yerevan’s English Park.
And the first international football match in the USSR took place in 1930. The Yerevan team and the German union met in Yerevan.
The national championship has been held since 1939. From the same year, “Spartak” also participated in all-Union championships. Armenian football has achieved great success in the 1970s. In 1971, the USSR’s highest league championship, Yerevan’s “Ararat” won the silver medal for the first time, and in 1973 (coach: Nikita Simonyan), it became a USSR Champion and Cup Winner.
In 1975 players of “Ararat” won the USSR Cup for the second time. “Shirak”, “Lori”, “Kotayk”, “Nairi”, “Arax” and other teams also played in USSR championships.
15 Armenian football players (1st was Levon Isshtoian) have played in the USSR team.
Khoren Hovhannisyan played 37 games, scored 8 goals. Hovhannes Zanazanyan, Arkady Andreasyan (both 1976) and Khoren Hovhannisyan (1980) became bronze medalists of the Olympic Games.
In 1992, the Football Federation of Armenia was established, which joined FIFA in the same year. In 1993, joined UEFA.
Starting from 1992, the Armenian Republic Championship and the Independence Cup take place. “Mika”, “Banants” and “Pyunik” teams are among the leaders.
In 1992, the national football team participated in the World and European Championships, in qualifying tournaments.
The history of the Armenia national team began on 14 October 1992. That is when Armenia played its first match against Moldova. That meeting ended in a goalless draw.
Starting from 1994, Armenian teams participate in European Cup competitions.
Yuri Djorkaeff and Alain Poghosyan have been successful players in the French National Football Team. Not to mention that they were The World (1998) and Europe (2000) champions. Armenian footballers also play in the teams of different countries.
However, the lack of financial resources forced many clubs in Yerevan and other provinces to retire from professional football. As of 2016, only 5 clubs from Yerevan, 1 from Gyumri, 1 from Kapan and 1 from Abovyan are practicing professional football, They are taking part in the Armenian football league system.
There are many new football stadiums in Armenia during the 1st decade of the 21st century. However, many of the Soviet-era stadiums are still in bad conditions. Most of the professional teams either possess their own stadium or football training academy.
Armenia national football team
The Football Federation of Armenia, the governing body for football in Armenia, controls the Armenia national football team. After the Armenian Independence, the team played its first international match on October 12, 1992.
Home ground is the Republican Stadium in Yerevan. The head coach is Artur Petrosyan. The national team has participated in the qualification of every major tournament from the UEFA Euro 1996 onwards. Though they are yet to qualify for the knockout stage in either a UEFA European Football Championship or a FIFA World Cup.
The national team took the third place in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage, with controversial officiating preventing them from achieving second place. Hence they moved onto the final tournament.
The first head coach of the Armenian national team was Soviet Armenian football star Eduard Markarov. Armenian winner of the UEFA Jubilee Awards and fellow Soviet Armenian football great Khoren Hovhannisyan also became a head coach.
Many of the early coaches of the national team never stayed for longer than two years. Scottish coach Ian Porterfield became a head coach in 2006. He, then, began to lead the team to some of its first successes on the international stage.
Under his leadership, the Armenian team had played a series of great matches with victories over Kazakhstan (2–1), Poland (1–0) and Portugal (1–1) with Cristiano Ronaldo in the lineup.
The 62-year-old Porterfield, however, died of cancer. An acting assistant coach, Vardan Minasyan, became acting head coach following Porterfield’s death. Minasyan learned much from Porterfield and Samvel Darbinyan, another former head coach of Armenia.
On February 10, 2009, after the draw for the qualifying round teams of the UEFA Euro 2012, by order of the President of the Football Federation of Armenia Ruben Hayrapetyan, Minasyan will continue to lead the Armenian national team as the official head coach.
Despite not getting to play in the UEFA Euro 2012, Minasyan brought the Armenian national team to a record #41 FIFA ranking. He placed the team in a personal best third place in the group stage and went on to become the longest leading head coach of the Armenian football team. Minasyan stated he is proud of the entire team.
Football Federation of Armenia
The Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) is the governing body of association football in Armenia.
It organizes the Armenian Premier League, the Armenian First League, the Armenian Independence Cup and the Armenian Futsal Premier League.
It is also responsible for appointing the management of the Armenian national football team, and the Armenia women’s national football team.
FIFA awarded the FFA a synthetic football turf pitch through its GOAL program.
It became a member of the game’s world and European governing bodies, FIFA and UEFA, in 1992. The national team made their competitive debut in qualification for the 1996 UEFA European Championship.
Armenia kicked off with a 2-0 defeat in Belgium on 7 September 1994 yet also made history in that EURO 1996 campaign. The team recorded their first competitive victory when they won 2-1 against FYR Macedonia on 6 September 1995.
Since then Armenia has been a permanent fixture in EURO and World Cup qualifying tournaments, earning the notable achievement of finishing third in their UEFA EURO 2012 group.
Armenian Premier League
The Armenian Premier League is the top football competition in Armenia. From 1936 to 1991, the competition was held as a regional tournament within the USSR. After independence, the Football Federation of Armenia has been the unit in charge. Over the years, the league has evolved into a small league consisting of only six teams. The winner of the league gets a spot as an award in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
Famous Armenian Footballers Worldwide
He is an Armenian professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Manchester United, as well as captaining the Armenia national team.
Mkhitaryan is Armenia’s all-time top goalscorer, scoring 22 goals in 64 international matches since his debut in January 2007. His previous clubs include Pyunik. There he came through the youth system, Metalurh Donetsk, Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund.
One important fact is that Mkhitaryan has been the Armenian Footballer of the Year seven times. In 2012, he was the best Shakhtar player of the 2011–12 season.Also, the Ukrainian Premier League Footballer of the Year. Mkhitaryan was in UEFA’s Top 100 players by UEFA European Football Yearbook 2012–13. In addition, Mkhitaryan has two nicknames, such as Heno (in Armenia) and Micki (in Europe).
Yura, born on 2 August 1987, is an Armenian footballer. He currently plays forward for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer.
He represents Armenia internationally.
Yura has played 35 international games with Armenia scoring 10 goals.
Karlen, born on 25 November 1988 in Yerevan, is an Armenian football player who currently plays midfielder for the Armenian national team. He was the Armenian Footballer of the Year in 2010.
Karlen Mkrtchyan is also a graduate the Armenian football club school Pyunik Yerevan.
With Mkrtchyan as a member, Pyunik won the Armenian Premier League in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, the Armenian Cup in 2009 and 2010 and the Armenian Supercup in 2007, 2008 and 2010.