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Dalkurd FF wins promotion to the Swedish Premiership: "A victory for Kurds all around the world"

Dalkurd has secured a spot in the Swedish Premiership.
The victory over GAIS on Saturdaty completed the young club's journey from the eighth tier to the Swedish top flight in just over twelve years.

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A large Dalkurd following in Bromma, Stockholm witnessed their team lose to Brommapojkarna on Tuesday night. Dalkurd have fans all around Sweden, and around the world. Their Facebook page has more than 1.5 million followers.

The story of Dalkurd Fotbollförening started in the Swedish town Borlänge in September 2004, when a group of Kurdish immigrants decided to form a football club. A couple of young players with immigrant backgrounds were forced to leave the biggest club in Borlänge – IK Brage – due to disciplinary reasons. An incident which gave the Kurds the incentive to start a team of their own.

The rest is Swedish – and international – football history.

Dalkurd won division 6 (the eighth tier in Swedish football) during its first season 2005, and then went on to win promotion four years in a row until they ended up in division 1 (the third tier) in 2010. They played there for six seasons before they managed to advance to Superettan 2015.

Peshraw Azizi is often put on the bench but one of the most important players as a symbol for Dalkurd's Kurdish identity. Azizi came to Sweden from Kurdistan at the age of 12 and is the son of a Peshmerga soldier who have been fighting for Kurdish independence.

Two seasons later, they have now reached Allsvenskan (the Swedish top division) after their win at home against GAIS from Gothenburg on Saturday. A goal from Rawez Lawan (team captain and one of three Kurds on the squad) gave Dalkurd a 1–0 victory, which guarantees them a spot in the top flight with one game left to play in Superettan.

A promotion to the top division would be a victory for Kurds all over the world. We must make it happen

Dalkurd's promotion to the Swedish Premiership is not just a victory for the club itself or their hometown Borlänge in the county of Dalecarlia. It is a symbolic victory for Kurds all around the world. Dalkurd has through the years become somewhat of a Kurdish national team, playing for the pride of a people who don't have a home country to call their own.

Dutch midfielder Rewan Amin is of Kurdish heritage and joined Dalkurd from Heerenveen.

"As a Kurd, Dalkurd is very special. When I came here the people in the club had a plan. They wanted to win and be ambitious. For me personally, it feels just right to play here", Rewan Amin, a Dutch midfielder in Dalkurd, told Dalarnas Tidningar earlier this week.

"A promotion to the top division would be a victory for Kurds all over the world. We must make it happen".

Ahmed Awad in Dalkurd's game against GAIS on Saturday. Dalkurd won 1–0 and secured a spot in the Swedish Premiership next season.

Amin and his team mates certainly made the most of their opportunity. The success story that is Dalkurd FF will continue to be written in the top division next year, as the quest for European football and a matchup against a Turkish side goes on.

The day a young player in need of help walks away from us, we have failed. We should never forget our social responsibility as a club.

But football aside, one of the club founders – Elvan Cicen – told Dalarnas Tidningar that Dalkurd can never forget their social project.

"The day a young player in need of help walks away from us, we have failed. We should never forget our social responsibility as a club. We started up by taking care of troubled youngsters, to keep them off the streets, and we should continue to do so no matter if we play in the eighth tier or in the Premiership".

Elvan Cicen, one of Dalkurd FF's founders.

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