Rising Popularity of American Football in Turkey

American football has been growing in popularity in Turkey and the growth has no end in sight.

Before we talk about the future of American football in Turkey we need to discuss the history of the sport.

The first American football game played in the country of Turkey was back in 1980. A lot of people believe the sport is new to Turkey, but that’s not the case. American football has been played in Turkey for more than three decades.

The first organized team wasn’t established until several years after the sport was introduced to the country. The first team was formed at the Bogazici University in Istanbul and today numerous other universities have formed teams too.

During the 1990s, American football spread throughout Turkey’s universities. Several leading universities started to form teams, including Istanbul Technical, Hacettepe and Marmara.

There are now more than a dozen American football teams at leading universities in Turkey. In 1997, the American Football Federation of Turkey or (Turkish: Korumali Futbol Kisa Tanitim) was established in order to help organize the teams and schedules.

One of the early hurdles faced by the American Football Federation of Turkey was sourcing equipment. It wasn’t until 2001 when most universities started receiving the required equipment needed to play American football.

Now there are 20+ amateur American football teams in the country competing annually against each other. Turkey is becoming a great destination for American football players to travel to and teach the game.

In 2015, the American Football Without Barriers (AFWB) organization visited Turkey. Marshawn Lynch and several other American football players visited Turkey to teach hundreds of players at a youth football camp.

Lynch has been running a youth football camp in Oakland, California for years now and he enjoys giving back to those less fortunate than him. He wants to spread American football worldwide and help those in need.

American Football Without Barriers allowed Lynch to pursue both of those goals. This year the organization is going to be visiting Finland for the first time, but it likely won’t be long before Lynch is back in Turkey teaching the youth.

AFWB Gary Barnridge Turkey

National Football League players including Cleveland Browns TE Gary Barnidge (far right).

Lynch was impressed with how quickly the youth were able to pick up the rules to American football. It’s a tough sport to learn, but the eager Turkish athletes were more than willing to learn everything they could from Lynch.

Popularity Equals Gaming

With the rise of popularity of American football in Turkey, there has also been a rise in NFL betting. Sports betting is popular in Turkey, but most gamblers used to have very little interest in American football.

That has started to change and now most Turkish bookies are offering NFL betting markets. This Youwin betting site is the best option, as they have the best prices and most comprehensive coverage of American football markets.

A lot of sports bettors in Turkey know what the NFL Super Bowl is, but they don’t know that they can bet on the NFL from about September to early February every year. Even less know anything about the types of bets available.

You can bet on a team to win a football game (money line), cover against the spread (point spread) or on game totals (combined points scored by both teams), but there are also a lot of other betting markets.

One of the most popular betting markets is player prop bets. If you watch the NFL and follow certain players you can bet on that player’s performance every week. There are also teams prop bets available every week too.

AFI
American Football International is your source for news and updates about American Football outside the United States!
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