Tea Party: Spotlight on Çaykur Rizespor

We brought you an overview of Hull City’s pre-season opponents Torino FC. Now we look at Çaykur Rizespor, who will face Hull City on Wednesday. The team hail from the city of Rize on the Turkish Black Sea coast, situated between the Georgian Border and the other coastal city of Trabzon. This naturally makes Trabzonspor rivals of Çaykur Rizespor, but with Trabzonshop being a Turkish first division staple and Çaykur Rizespor being a team less used to the Süper Lig, clashes have not always been that frequent and Trabzonspor fans would probably name other teams as larger rivals to Çaykur Rizespor.

The club has an interesting history and was founded originally to promote Football and more generally sport among the local younger generations as a hobby and exercise in Rize city. The team’s traditional colours were yellow and green to reflect the local economic dependence on lemons and tea. However, the team has been funded by and related to the Rize-based Çaykur tea manufacturing company since the early 90s. Because of this management decided to change the team name to include the prefix Çaykur and to switch to blue and green as the primary playing colours. The team have switched between the first and second divisions of Turkish Football frequently in their history but have established themselves as a Süper Lig team since 2013.

Rize

The city of Rize is known for its mountainous and rugged surroundings, something thatRizeh has had a significant impact on the economic and cultural development of the city. Trade links with other cities were always limited thanks to the difficulty of actually reaching Rize by car or truck. Rize and its people have always therefore had to be very self-sufficient. A lack of easy trade means poverty, and the citizens of Rize throughout its history have had to work hard to keep food on the table. This means two things: Rize citizens are tough and Rize citizens look out for each other. Places that experience extreme poverty are often very egalitarian, meaning that people share what they have more frequently and care more for each other. This sense of constantly having to fight for each other will transfer to the Football team and thus Çaykur Rizespor fans will be very proud of their team and their roots. Don’t expect them to be a soft lot.

We’re all aware that there exists a certain level of distrust between English and Turkish fans (the English will always point at the two Leeds fans who were killed by Galatasaray in 2000). Because of this, I imagine that the visiting Hull fans will be apprehensive of travelling Çaykur Rizespor fans next week. However, I do not imagine that Çaykur Rizespor fans will have such an institutionalised view of English Football fans and may be less inclined toward immediate hostility. With the game scheduled on a weekday and Kufstein being a very long way for the Turkish fans to travel, there will be a low Rizespor attendance but those who come will probably bring a joyous, celebratory attitude. Expect a trouble free game.

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