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Supporters Unite for Love of the Game

Gençlerbirligi v Blackburn Rovers

On September 24th, just 18 days before England meet Turkey in the crucial Euro 2004 qualifying game, more than 500 supporters of Blackburn Rovers will be making their way to Ankara with just two things in mind; to support their team’s UEFA Cup adventure and show the true side of the travelling English fan.

Amongst the 500 travelling either with the club charter or with other organised travel from the Blackburn area are members of brfcs.com, an unofficial Blackburn Rovers Football Club website.

Within hours of the August 29th draw fans from BRFCS had made contact with their counterparts at the leading unofficial Gençlerbirligi website to exchange information on their clubs and the forthcoming game.

Out of these early contacts the notion of a friendly 7 a-side game quickly developed and now has all the makings of a fine example of how true football fans unite in their love of the game.

Gençlerbirligi fans made contact with their own club who will provide the fan teams with a training pitch at the Gençlerbirligi stadium on the day of the UEFA Cup tie, together with a club coach to and from the ground for the Turkish and English fans taking part in the friendly.

Local Turkish fans have approached local media sources with the intention of generating positive news to counteract the negative atmosphere surrounding the England game. It is our understanding the local, Turkish, media have taken a real interest in this fans friendly game.

Gençlerbirligi have requested media enquiries to the club should be directed to: Yetkiner Mayda and Suphi Yalçinkaya. Gençlerbirligi issued a Press Release in Ankara earlier today. The Turkish news channel NTV will be carrying a “live” news report of the friendly game on the day.

The match will kick off at 11.00am local (Turkish) time.

Local supporters of Gençlerbirligi are also making arrangements to meet Blackburn fans in Ankara. The Gençlerbirligi supporters will "host" their rival fans during their stay in Ankara, further demonstrating football unites fans across the world and while we may be rivals for 90 minutes we can be friends for far longer.

A return game is being planned for October 15th when Blackburn Rovers host Gençlerbirligi in the second leg of the UEFA cup tie.

For more information please e-mail: admin@brfcs.com

To visit our web site: brfcs.com

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At last, some sanity in the way the beautiful game supported.

As a Rovers supporter of many a year, I'm pleased that it's the supporters of MY team that have decided to change the worldwide image of English football. I'm also pleased that the fans of a Turkish team have made the offer in the true spirit of OUR game.

To all that are going to be involved, enjoy the 7 a side, enjoy the main game, may the best team win, and, most of all, enjoy each others company AFTER the game.

I just wish I could be there.

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