ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – Kurdish-affiliated Swedish football team Dalkurd FF on Saturday secured promotion to Sweden’s Allsvenskan league, the first division of Swedish football, after a 1-0 victory against opponents GAIS.
Midfielder Rawez Lawan, a Swedish-born Kurd, scored the only goal of the match in the 59th minute to secure the win and ensure Dalkurd play in the top tier of Swedish football next season.
With one match remaining, the Superettan (second tier) season came down to the wire as Dalkurd extended their lead in the table over third-placed Trelleborgs FF, whom they now sit six points above in second-place.
After defeating Dalkurd in their previous match, league-leaders Brommapojkarna now needs a draw or win on Monday to clinch the Superettan title.
The top two teams in the Superettan secure automatic promotion to the Allsvenskan league while the third-placed team’s fate is decided through a play-off.
Dalkurd, based in the Swedish city of Borlänge, was founded on Sep. 26, 2004, by nine Kurdish immigrants as a social project to keep children distracted from the vices of the streets.
The club has since built academies in both Sweden and the Kurdistan Region as Dalkurd takes pride in being “born with a social responsibility,” according to their website.
The team’s colors are symbolic of Kurdistan, with the Kurdish flag included in the crest on their shirts.
The club has bull-dozed its way up the ranks of Swedish football since their 2005 introduction in Tier Seven, winning five promotions in their first five seasons.
“There are plenty of people who feel a great responsibility toward a lot of people out in the world,” Dalkurd coach Andreas Brännström previously said.
With promotion into the first level of Swedish football guaranteed, Dalkurd now faces the prospect of UEFA Champions League or Europa League qualification—an opportunity awarded to the top three teams in the Allsvenskan league.