ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan 24) – A Kurdish footballer recently received racist abuse by fans of a Turkish club during his team’s UEFA Europa League match in Istanbul, Turkey.
Brwa Nouri, a 30-year-old Kurd who plays for Swedish club Ostersund FK, received hateful comments before the game against Turkish side Galatasaray SK.
Fans of the Turkish club targeted Nouri on his Instagram page before the UEFA Europa League second qualifying round match.
“You will not leave the area. Welcome to hell,” one user wrote, referring to the Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul, Turkey.
Nouri scored the equalizing goal in a 1-1 draw to send Ostersund through to the next qualifying round of the competition, celebrating in front of the Turkish fans.
“We did not feel insecure in any way,” he told Sweden’s SportExpressen. “We knew it would be a horrible environment to play football.”
The 30-year-old confirmed the abuse he received on social media, stating it was “because of my background and because I am a Kurd.”
Nouri also said the Galatasaray players hurled abuse at him during the match.
“I was called a terrorist, fascist, and traitor,” he said. “That we Kurds have no country. But, we Kurds are strong.”
“We Kurds are used to this oppression,” Nouri continued. “It felt nice that you could go out as a winner.”
The Kurdish footballer added that despite the “spiteful” atmosphere, his team “handled it in a good way.”
Ostersund defeated Galatasaray 3-1 over two legs after a 2-0 victory in Sweden last week to dump the Turkish club out of the competition.
Nouri was born to Kurdish parents in Iran before moving to Sweden where he began his footballing career.