A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Football Federations of The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States (Turkic Council) members Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Hosted by TFF President Nihat Özdemir and moderated by TFF First Vice-President and UEFA Executive Committee Member Servet Yardımcı, alongside TFF General Secretary Kadir Kardaş, a signature ceremony was held in Istanbul at Turkish Football Federation's headquarters via videoconference today.
Turkic Council General Secretary Baghdad Amreyev, Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan President Rovnag Abdullayev, Kyrgyz Football Union President Kanatbek Mamatov, Hungarian Football Federation President Sándor Csányi, Football Federation of Turkmenistan President Arslan Aynazarov, Uzbekistan Football Federation Vice-President Ravshan Irmatov, Kazakhstan Football Federation General Secretary Azamat Aithhozhin and other representatives participated in the online event.
The cooperation agreement foresees friendly matches and tournaments as well as collective training camps to be organised between the signatory countries. Furthermore, countries will collaborate on many sporting matters, particularly on youth football, education, refereeing and development programmes.
In his opening speech at the signature ceremony, TFF president Nihat Özdemir said:
"Honourable Representatives from federations of our brotherly countries, Dear Turkic Council General Secretary Baghdad Amreyev, and Distinguished Participants.
As my valued vice-president Servet Yardımcı has previously mentioned, today we are signing a historic agreement on the sports domain as the football federations of The Cooperation Council of Turkic Speaking States which is one of the greatest examples of togetherness within the Turkic world.
Based on the historical, linguistic, cultural and customary ties between the Turkic-speaking nations, Turkic Council took its first step in 1992 with the effort of establishing peace both in the region and achieving collective development as well as fostering cooperation between our states.
The Turkic Council was officially founded with the Nakhchivan Agreement in 2009 and it has become a big umbrella organisation.
At the present time, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Hungary, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey are actively cooperating on over 20 different areas. Following the agreement we will sign between the football federations today; I believe together we will make significant achievements in the field of football as well.
With this agreement that will bring excitement to the football world and our federations, we will collaborate particularly on youth football, education, refereeing and development programmes along with many matters.
We will strengthen our ties even further with the joint training camps, friendly matches and tournaments.
This memorandum of understanding is one of the most memorable agreements in Turkish Football Federation's 98-year history.
Thanks to the unification of our forces, I believe we will make Turkic world a leading power in world football.
I am hoping to have our meetings face to face and come together with you in the shortest possible time.
Wishing that this agreement be best to Turkic world, I salute all of you."
Following Özdemir's speech, representatives from all countries expressed their views and thoughts on the Memorandum of Understanding in turn before signing the agreement.
In his closing remarks after the signature ceremony TFF First Vice-President and UEFA Executive Committee Member Servet Yardımcı wished the agreement to be fruitful for all federations and added: "I have to say that as Turkish Football Federation, we take this initiative very seriously. I am sure that this agreement will be very beneficial not only for the development of football activities but also for the cultural and social matters. From now on, we will work even harder to foster our cooperation. I would like to congratulate all representatives and on this occasion, I would like to wish Happy Ramadan to all of you."