Thousands celebrate Madrid win in a rare youth festival in Erbil

The New Region

Jun. 02, 2024 • 3 min read
Image of Thousands celebrate Madrid win in a rare youth festival in Erbil

Thousands gathered peacefully in Erbil's Iskan street, during a rare youth festival, to watch the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Dortmund, celebrating Real Madrid's 2-0 victory.

Thousands of people from across Iraq gathered in Erbil’s Iskan street on Saturday night to watch the screening of the Champions League final.


Erbil’s Iskan street is perhaps the most public and most crowded street of the Kurdish capital. On a normal night, hundreds of people gather at the street to eat, drink tea, play games, and spend the night.


On Saturday, thousands from across the Kurdistan Region and Iraq flocked Iskan. It was no ordinary night, they were there to watch the Champions League final being screened on massive screens and celebrate alongside football enthusiasts as Real Madrid was on the run to win their 15th Champions League title.


Iskan usually has a unique atmosphere on nights where there are major football matches happening, that has for years been until one team wins and the other one loses.


Over the years, several matches have led to major fights breaking out between fans of both teams, bottle throwing and trashing the street have been one of the common side effects of football nights at Iskan.



However on Saturday night, none of that happened.


The fans enjoyed football in front of a massive screen set up by Ava Media, and when the night was done, everyone headed home happy, and Real Madrid fans in the Kurdistan Region were even happier as their team secured their 15th title and were crowned champions of Europe yet again.


“I have been working at Iskan since 2012, I have never seen something like this,” one tea shop owner said. “I have never seen Iskan like this.”


Sportsmanship was flowing in the air, fans of all different football clubs had gathered and were watching the match together as Ava’s Chenar Abdulqadir leading the pre and post match ceremony alongside the fans.


People from outside Erbil were provided with buses to attend the event and partake on the unforgettable night.


“We came from Soran, I thank Ava TV for providing transportation to all people from other cities and towns to come to Erbil,” a Real Madrid fan said.


Fans were rejoicing ahead of the game, chasing Ava microphones to give out their predictions of the game, and one man was very certain of his prediction, which turned out to be true.


“I have not gotten a single prediction wrong, I think Real Madrid will win two to zero,” he said.


Some were not supporters of either side, but they still went to attend the festivities and expressed their joy at seeing the atmosphere.


“I support neither side, but I was very happy and we had a very good time. Thank God this time there were no problems and no fights,” one attendant said, thanking local authorities and the security forces for maintaining peace during the match and preventing any escalations.


The match started at 10pm with millions around the world eagerly staring at their screens for the biggest final in club football.


As the match started, Dortmund dominated the pitch for most of the first half of the game. The team made several attempts at goal, but failed to score, leading into half time with neither side scoring a goal.


By half time, fans of both teams were filled with uncertainty, Real Madrid had all the better players, but somehow they could not break free from Dortmund’s defense.


But that was only in the first half. As the second half of the match started, Real Madrid was having the upperhand, scoring two goals in less than ten minutes from Dani Carvajal and Vinicius Junior, paving the way to their victory.


This was not the first time Real Madrid and Dortmund were facing each other in the Champions League. Following Saturday’s match, Real Madrid has won seven of 15 matches against Dortmund in the Champions League and tied five times, with Dortmund only winning three times.


Thousands were dancing to Kurdish folk music at Iskan as the referee blew the whistle and Real Madrid were crowned champions, and this time, no bottles were thrown.

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