Genel Health & Sports

Being a Female Football Player in Turkey: An Interview

İlayda Ekmekci

Amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, we talked about football with a female football player, İlayda.

Mustafa: Hello, İlayda. Welcome to our club meeting!  First of all, I would like to thank you for this interview.

İlayda: Thanks a lot. It’s nice to be here.

Mustafa: İlayda, could you please introduce yourself?

İlayda: Of course, I’m eighteen years old. I’m a student at Atılım University, Prep-School. I am a Psychology student. I’m a football player at Fomget football club and I am also a national team player.

Mustafa: You are a footballer and it is not so easy to meet a woman playing football, especially in Turkey, so when did you start playing football and how did you decide to be a footballer?

İlayda: It used to be harder to be a female footballer in Turkey in the past. But these days women’s football is known and supported more and this is quite an honor. Six years ago, I started playing football as a professional. When I was a child, I used to play in the street and then I decided to go on playing because I really enjoyed it and it helped me get rid of all the negative feelings and thoughts I had.

Mustafa: What do you think about women’s football in Turkey?

İlayda: These days the female football teams are valued more and more in Turkey. The increasing number of audiences makes us feel proud.

Mustafa: What do people usually say first when they find out you are a football player?

İlayda: The reactions might change. Some might say “Oh, I’ve seen your team on the internet, you are doing fine” but others might say “I have never heard of it!”

Mustafa: We have a football club in the Department of Basic English and we have discussed some topics in our club hours. One of them is of course about Covid-19. How has it affected football around the world and what do you think about the restart of the football leagues around the world?

İlayda: Of course, Covid 19 has affected football a lot. We are training at home to keep fit in this period.

Mustafa: Are you doing any kind of training these days? If so, what do you do to keep fit in this period?

İlayda:  I personally do the trainings that my club assigns me at home. Thus, when the league resumes, I will be fit to start.

Mustafa: Lastly, we discussed VAR system in our club hours. What do you think about VAR system as a female footballer?

İlayda: I believe that VAR has made the matches fairer. Wrong decisions can be changed in a very short time.

Mustafa: Many thanks, İlayda. It was a big pleasure to know you and to have an interview with you.

İlayda: You are welcome. It was also a big pleasure to talk to you and answer your questions.

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