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Matchworn by Gurbangeldy Batyrov 14.11.2017 TKM ­čç╣­čç▓ : TWN ­čç╣­čç╝ 2-1

Manufacturer: Joma

Source: Collector

ÔÇ×Let the life of every Turkmen be as beautiful as our melons.ÔÇŁ

(Saparmurat ÔÇťT├╝rkmenba┼čyÔÇť Niyazov)


All hail the great T├╝rkmenba┼čy! A humble ruler that renamed the months and days of the week after himself and rather than living in his preferred ÔÇťwooden cabinÔÇŁ, he was apparently forced by his folk to live in a marble palace, befittingly. Poor guy!


Within his rather short rule (at least for an autocrat), Saparmurat Niyazov has achieved many great things for his folk:

  • banning all recorded music and lip-synching.

  • banning video games

  • prohibiting make-up for Turkmen news reporters

  • banning beards and long hair for men

  • Closing all hospitals in the country, except the ones in TurkmenistanÔÇÖs capital Ashgabat (what a genius move!)

  • shutting down all internet cafes

  • prohibiting smoking in all public places (Hey! ThatÔÇÖs a good one for once!)

  • building a giant skating ring (because all Turkmen should learn how to skate, obviously)

While this is certainly a spectacular feat even for a power-crazed dictator, the crowning achievement of his successor Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow seems even more impressive:

Leading his country to a dead last place in the 2019 Press Freedom Index ÔÇô even behind North Korea and Eritrea.


Since you wonÔÇÖt find the truth in any of the three national (owned) newspapers, Niyazov has created his own truth in the form of the Ruhnama.

Basically a bible with even more outrageous stories, the Ruhnama offers the "spiritual guidance of the nation" and serves as the basis of the nation's arts and literature. It is (of course) mandatory for all people to learn NiyazovÔÇÖs teachings by heart, so itÔÇÖs not that surprising, that the knowledge of the Ruhnama is element of the driving test ÔÇô but not for women, as they arenÔÇÖt allowed to drive a car anymoreÔÇŽ


I could go on and on about the ridiculously bizarre things going on in Turkmenistan, like the fact that only white cars are allowed in the capital Ashgabat and the motorized statues of Niyazov and his Ruhnama (yeah, that book has its own statueÔÇŽ), but this would break the mold of this article. Do yourself a favor and watch some documentaries on YouTube, like the formidable piece, John Oliver did on current president Berdimuhamedow.


With those living conditions, it is debatable, if TurkmenistanÔÇÖs ÔÇťDoor to HellÔÇŁ is really a burning gas crater, or just a synonym for the Turkmen border crossing.


THE SHIRT

Being a relatively young state, Turkmenistan played their first international game against rival Kazakhstan in 1992.

While the list of the countries human rights violations is long, that of its footballing achievements is considerably shorter:


Well, they did manage to advance to the final of the 2010 and 2012 AFC Challenge Cup, where they lost to North Korea, in what can only be dubbed the ÔÇťHuman (Un)rights DerbyÔÇŁ or the ÔÇťOur-president-is-a-murdering-megalomanica-and-we-are-not-allowed-to-use-the-internet-clashÔÇŁ, on both occasions.

As you can imagine, football shirts from such a secretive and (politically) isolated place arenÔÇÖt exactly available at your local sports shop. There are also no replicas made, so the only option is to get a shirt via a player. Luckily, I was able to get this matchworn shirt from a friendly collector.

Turkmen shirts were never particularly flashy, but rather based on boring templates, therefore IÔÇÖm happy to have this fairly nice model from Spanish manufacturer Joma.

It was worn by midfielder Gurbangeldy Batyrov in an Asian Cup qualifier against Taiwan (resp. Chinese Taipeh) in 2017, when the team won 2-1.

Turkmenistan's team in 2017

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