Armenia football is one of the most popular sports in the country. Many Armenian soccer teams and footballers have achieved great success throughout the world. Armenians take part in all FIFA competitions: Senior, Youth and Women’s Soccer!
Armenia football has developed since the Soviet times. Although football isn’t considered to be among the traditional sports of Armenia, the country has its own national association which, since gaining independence in 1991, participates in all the above-mentioned FIFA competitions.
As of August 2014, the Armenian national soccer team is the 36th in FIFA World Rankings.
If you are a fan of soccer, you probably know about several Armenian football players or teams in general. If you keep reading, you’ll find out more information about them and their great potential in this sphere.
History of Armenia Football
The first Armenian football clubs were founded in Constantinople, Smyrna and many other cities within the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century.
The history of this sport in Armenia was not an easy one, like the Armenian nation’s history itself. After the break-out of the World War I and the Genocide of the Armenians in 1915, all the athletic activities suddenly stopped.
The first professional club in Armenia was established in 1935 as Spartak. Later, it was renamed Ararat. The first football stadium in Armenia was named Spartak as well. It was built in the late 1920s, in front of what is now the Yerevan Circus. Another famous FC, Shirak, was founded in Gyumri, in 1958.
Soccer became, we may say, the most popular sport in the independent Republic of Armenia. However, the lack of financial resources forced many clubs in Yerevan and other provinces to retire from professional football.
Many new football stadiums were built in Armenia during the first decade of the 21st century. Nevertheless, many of the stadiums, built during the Soviet-era, are in bad conditions. Many professional clubs possess either their own stadium or football training academy.
As of August 2014, 7 soccer training academies and camps are operating in Armenia: Pyunik Training Centre, Banants Training Centre, Dzoraghbyur Training Centre are the most popular among them.
Armenian National Football Team
The Armenia national football team represents the Republic of Armenia in association football. The team is controlled by the Football Federation of Armenia which is the governing body for soccer in Armenia.
After gaining independence, the Armenian team played its first international match on October 12, 1992. The team’s home ground is the Republican Stadium in Yerevan. Their head coach is Varuzhan Sukiasyan.
The national football team has participated in the qualification of every major tournament from the UEFA Euro 1996 onwards, though they are yet to be qualified for the knockout stage in either the UEFA European Football Championship or the FIFA World Cup.
The Armenia national soccer team came in the 3rd place in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying stage which is the Armenian national squad’s greatest success at present.
Armenia Football Premier League
The Armenian Premier League is the top soccer competition in the Republic of Armenia. From 1936 to 1991, the competition was held as a regional tournament within the USSR.
After the independence, the Football Federation of Armenia has been the unit in charge. Bit by bit, the league has expanded into a small league, consisting of eight teams. The winner of the Premier league is awarded a spot in the first qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League.
Football Federation of Armenia
As we already mentioned, the collapse of the USSR and Armenia’s declaration of independence in 1991 were significant moments in the country’s sport life. These events prompted the founding of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) on 18 January, 1992.
The Football Federation of Armenia is the governing body of association football in Armenia. The FFA is based in Yerevan. It organizes the Armenian Premier League, the Armenian First League, the Armenian Independence Cup and the Armenian Futsal Premier League.
The Armenia football federation was awarded a synthetic football turf pitch by FIFA through its GOAL program.
The FFA is also responsible for appointing the management of the Armenian national soccer team and the Armenia women’s national soccer team. The Armenian national football team also operates in the framework of the FFA.
Most Outstanding Soccer Stars
If you are a soccer fan, you probably have your favorite players among the Armenian teams as well. In this article we will introduce to you the world famous Armenian soccer players.
Armenia Football Star #1: Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is one of the most professional footballers in the world! He plays as a midfielder for English club Manchester United. Henrikh is also captaining the Armenia national team.
Mkhitaryan is Armenia’s all-time top goal scorer, scoring 19 goals in 59 international matches since his debut in January 2007. His previous clubs include Pyunik, Metalurh Donetsk, Shakhtar Donetsk and Borussia Dortmund.
Mkhitaryan has been chosen Armenian Footballer of the Year five times, every year since 2009, except 2010. Mkhitaryan received the nickname Heno from his fans in Armenia.
He is the most beloved and popular football player for Armenians, as except for being a very talented soccer player, he is also a very kind, sociable and great-hearted person.
Armenia Football Star #2: Yura Movsisyan
Yura Movsisyan is also one of the most popular Armenian football players. Currently, he plays forward for Real Salt Lake in Major League Soccer, on loan from Spartak Moscow of the Russian Premier League.
Yura represents Armenia internationally. He has played 35 international games, with Armenia scoring 10 goals.
Armenia Football Star #3: Aras Özbiliz
Aras Özbiliz plays as a right winger for the Armenian national soccer team and the Turkish club Beşiktaş.
On 29 February 2012, Aras debuted for the national football team of Armenia during a friendly match with Canada and scored a goal in that match.
Armenia Football Star #4: Edgar Manucharyan
Edgar Manucharyan is also a very famous Armenian football player who currently plays forward for the Armenian national team. He has notably played for Pyunik Yerevan and Ajax as well.
All of these players are very beloved and popular not only for their exceptional talent and skills, but also for their personal characteristics.
Most Popular Armenia Football Teams
Armenia Football Team #1: FC Ararat Yerevan
FC Ararat Yerevan, commonly known as Ararat Yerevan, is based in Yerevan. Currently, this team plays at the Armenian Premier League. Ararat Yerevan is the most popular football club in Armenia. The color of the team is red.
This is a unique team not only owing to its good players, but also due to the fact that Ararat Yerevan was the first professional club in Armenia, established in 1935 as Spartak and later renamed Ararat.
Since 1999, the club has been owned by the Switzerland-based Armenian businessmen, Hrach Kaprielian and Vartan Sirmakes.
Armenia Football Team #2: FC Banants
This professional Armenia football team is also from the capital Yerevan. They play in the Armenian Premier League. Banants won the Armenian Cup twice, in 1992 and 2007. The color of the team is dark blue.
In 2013–2014, FC Banants won the Armenian Premier League for the first time in its history. The departures of most of the experienced players have left the club’s future to the young players. The team currently has two Ukrainian players.
By the beginning of 2016, the Russia-based Armenian businessman, Jevan Chaloyants, became the owner of the club. He purchased the club shares from the former owner of the club, Oleg Mkrtchyan.
Armenia Football Team #3: FC Shirak
This FC was founded in 1958. The home venue of the club is the Gyumri City Stadium. They never played in the Soviet First League. The color of the team is black.
FC Shirak is one of the oldest ones in Armenia and is the only team that participated in all the seasons of the Armenian Premier League. The team has produced many talented players who have represented the Armenian national team.
They became champions of the Armenian Premier League in 1992, 1994, 1999 and 2012–2013. FC Shirak lifted the Armenian Cup during the 2011–2012 season and, also, won the Armenian Super Cup in 1996, 1999, 2003 and 2013.
Armenian Soccer Fan Traditions
Football is a game that thrives on its traditions. Fans of this sport have their specific traditions, and it doesn’t matter whether they are watching football in stadiums or at their homes.
Below we will present you the interesting traditions and behavior of Armenia football fans, watching soccer game on their TVs.
Armenia Football Fan Tradition #1: Beer!
Armenian soccer fans usually buy crabs and beer in advance. They create the appropriate atmosphere and to enjoy the game.
It is preferable not to disturb them during the watch, as they try not to miss anything in the game!
Armenia Football Fan Tradition #2: Acting Too Emotional
In the beginning of a match, Armenians usually watch it calmly but after a while you can hear them shouting loudly from afar.
There are generally two reasons for that: they are either disappointed with the process of the game or excited by the performance of their beloved players. They proudly call them “our boys”!
Other Related Posts of Armenia Football / Soccer Introduction with some Teams of Armenia
- Armenian women are beautiful! 15 ladies selected
- Armenian TV Channels: Find your favorite Live and Online ones as well!
- Armenian Actors & Stars: Most Famous Armenian Actors in Drama & Movies!
- Pan Armenian Games | A Big Armenia Sports Event Showing How Strong Armenians Are
- Armenia National Football Team & Most Exciting Armenia Football Games
- Hrazdan Stadium, Armenia | Home for Armenian National Team with its Capacity