Away 2019 (Norway Cup)
What’s the difference between Kurdistan and humor?
- Humor has boundaries.
I was once told this somewhat cruel joke by a Kurdish girl. And while it certainly oversteps the boundaries of some people’s humor (mainly Kurdish people’s humor, I suppose), it illustrates the greatest issue of the Kurdish people:
With a population between 30 – 45 million, the Kurds are the largest ethnic group without a state. Although, there is an autonomous region within northern Iraq, the cultural territory of Kurdistan occupies large parts of Turkey, Syria, Iran and Iraq without having a defined border or any sovereign claims.
A country without borders and independence surely doesn’t meet FIFA’s membership criteria. Consequently, the “Kurdistan Region national team” is operated by the de-facto independent Iraqi-Kurdistan region.
Despite their lack of a sovereign state, the team has played games against independent nations, when they participated in the 2012 Palestine International Cup (against Mauritania, Indonesia and Tunisia) where they finished third.
The majority of their games, however, were played during the VIVA World Cup (until 2012), which they won in 2012 and later the ConIFA World Cup.
eBay is mostly filled with cheap fake-Adidas jerseys that the Kurdish national selection never wore in any of their games. Getting a genuine Kurdistan shirt is actually a pretty tricky endeavor.
After seeing pictures from the Kurdish team during the 2019 Norway Cup, an international youth football tournament, I decided that I have to get one of these beautiful shirts.
And eventually, I did. Following a bit of research, I was able to get in contact with Bashdar, the designer of the shirt, who agreed to get a batch of them produced exclusively for me.
A month later, they showed up and I couldn’t be happier. While the quality isn’t on par with bigger manufacturers, the design certainly is! Boasting the Kurdish sun – the nations symbol – in the center, it also features the national colors and the Kurdistan Football Association badge, however, I particularly love the asymmetric use of green and red for the sleeves and cuffs.