Konyasport “the Centenarian”

24 Aug 2021
Konyasport “the Centenarian”

There are very few teams which are older than a hundred years old in Turkey. Except the so-called big three “Beşiktaş, Galatasaray and Fenerbahçe, Ankaragücü, Altay, Vefa, Beykoz, Anadolu Üsküdar and Küçükçekmece teams  have been founded over a hundred years ago. Now, Konyasport will write its name among these teams. Konyasport, one of the biggest values of our city, was founded 99 years ago and the green-whites will celebrate its 100th anniversary in the next season.
I would like to mention about the periods of the team between its foundations up to now. A brand new team was founded under the presidency of Süreyya Rıfat Ege, the P.E teacher in Konya Boys’ High School on 22 June 1922. The names of the Anatolian football unions, which became a new team in Turkey, were named Gençlerbirliği, which means teams that bring young people together with the names of the cities. The footballers from Konya met in Gençlerbirliği. The team with black and white colours had to have a symbol and it became a sharp-eyed black eagle.
Konya Gençlerbirliği played football against high school teams for a year. However, they had a difficult rival in July in 1923 and Konya İdmanyurdu was founded. They used a big and white star as a symbol to show how they shine against Konya Gençlerbirliği. They carried the star on their chests against the eagle. Their uniforms were generally plain green and the short form of the name of the team as K.İ.Y was written on their uniforms.
The love for football increased and people started to have the feeling of being a supporter. Gençlerbirliği, İdmanyurdu and high school teams played against each other until 1929. Meanwhile, a team called Selçuksport, which would be mentioned for years, was founded. However, the blow of fanaticism started to be felt in 1940s. 1960s were the years when the fate of the football changed in Anatolia. The football federation, under the presidency of Orhan Şeref Apak, founded two professional football leagues with 13 teams in 1964. Apak, wanted two teams from Konya to play in this league and he suggested managers of the two biggest teams in the city to unite. Konya Gençlerbirliği held a congress with the support of the federation and changed its name as Konyasport. With the joining of Çimentosport and Meramsport, Konyasport gained more power and started to play in the minor league in 1965. As Konyasport played in the professional league, the football fans in the city started to show more interest into black and whites.   
In the first years of the minor league, Konyasport had some troubles and although it has self-sacrificing amateur footballers, they couldn’t handle it anymore and relegated into a sub-league in 1968 in which İdmanyurdu was playing. In those years two teams were both professional and would play one against another. New sparkles were born from the ashes of the eternal rivalry. The city was divided into two and the eagle and the star started to compete to the death. That ruined the family, friend and business partners’ relationships. This deadly rivalry increased until 1981 in which two clubs joined. After the coup d’état on the 12th September, the 2nd army commander Bedrettin Demirel started an initiative to bring two clubs together. Soon, they succeeded to reconcile and the new club was born named as Konyasport to represent the city. İdmanyurdu’s demand was accepted about the colours of the club and black and white era closed. After that, green and white flags started to be used. The symbol of the club was decided as sharp-eyed and double-headed eagle in green and white instead of the star.     
Konyasport fans defended that under the symbol either 1922 or 1965 should be written to remind the long history of two teams. However, İdmanyurdu made them accept the union date as the foundation date. So, the legend was officially born in 1981. After 6 years of union, Konyasport became a champion in its 22nd year. After this success, the Anatolian Eagle was in the first league.    
Konyasport has had ups and downs through the seasons. In the general meeting on the 3rd October in 2016, the debates ended in the light of official documents and the foundation date was registered as the 22nd June 1922.

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