The 1960 in the history of world football - few know it - was very important. The year before it was decided to launch five international tournaments and make the Fairs Cup (the current Lega Europa ex UEFA Cup) annually. For this reason the Intercontinental Cup (current World Championship for Companies), the European Championship for Nationals (whose final stage was recently qualified by Albania), the Cup Winners' Cup (ended in 1999), the Alpine Cup (ceased in the 1987).
Italy won four events (Cup Winners Cup: Fiorentina 1961, Fairs Cup: Rome 1961, Mitropa Cup [the oldest club competition in the world, ended in 1992]: Bologna 1961, Cup of the Alps 1961 ; a Uruguay: Peñarol Montevideo 1960 (Intercontinental Cup), USSR 1960 (European Championship for Nationals), Portugal: Benfica 1961 (Champions' Cup).
And the 8 January 1961 was given the go-ahead for the fifth new tournament: the aforementioned Balkan Club Cup. The fledgling event soon became very popular, as it attracted many big clubs in South-Eastern Europe, known for the businesses in the European cups. Even the playoff of the 1966-67 edition, held in İstanbul - after Fenerbahçe and AEK, respectively, finished the finals in Athens and Istanbul 2-1 (11 October) and 0-1 (26 October) - saw the participation of well 42mila spectators who watched the Turkish victory for 3-1.
That same Fenerbahçe that in Group A had eliminated the Partizani in a memorable game on the Bosphorus at night, the 3 September for 3-2, after the first time saw the Albanians in the lead for 2-1 (both networks by Panajot Pano) . The Turkish club qualified on equal points (8) for the broken bonnet: a network quotient of 1,67 (10-6 networks) against 1,43 of the Albanians (r. 10-7). To think that the Partizani eight days earlier had beaten the Turks in Tirana for 2-0. If it was worth the direct confrontation, in the final were the players of the Ministry of Defense!
But back to the 1961 edition. It deployed: Partizani (Albanian champion 1961), Levski Sofia (Bulgarian runner-up 1961), AEK Athens (Greek vice-champion 1960), Steagul Roșu Brașov (Romanian runner-up 1960), Fenerbahçe İstanbul (Turkish champion 1961).
It must immediately be said that AEK Athens refused to meet both times with Partizani, and did not travel to Bulgaria and Romania, while from the Turkish journey it suffered an 1-5 against Fenerbahçe.
I remember that three years before the Albanian People's Liberation Army team had managed to get second place in the Champions Cup of the socialist countries, behind the CDNA Sofia (0-1), ahead of teams of: Czechoslovakia, Rep. Pop . of China, Pop. Rep. Dem. Of Korea, Democratic Germany, Poland, Romania, Hungary, USSR, Dem. Rep. Of Vietnam.
The initial path of the Albanians - at their debut in a European extra-iron curtain tournament - was medium. The Partizani at the first game (9 March) lost away from home with the Romanians for 0-1, but at the second (29 March) it beat the Bulgarians for 2-0.
The 19 August the Turks were first in the standings with 5 p. in four games (tied with the Romanians but with one less match), and the fifth and last Partizani with 2 points in two games; preceded by Greeks and Romanians with 3 p. in four matches.
The clash between the champions of Turkey and Albania loomed. For the first time a team from socialist Albania traveled to a capitalist country. A historical event that closed the first times between a Warsaw Pact State and the West. Epochal event, possible also due to the good relations between Tirana and Ankara.
The Albanian team was welcomed into Turkey by magnificent receptions. It had come there accompanied by the president, col. Dhori Panariti and the deputies Besim Fagu and Thoma Asimaqi. Coach Rexhep Spahiu brought his players with him: Esat Beliu, Iljaz Dingu, Osman Djepaxhia, Qamil Halluni, Kolec Kraja, Stavri Lubonja, Sulejman Maliqati (p), Osman Mema, Gani Merja, Miço Ndini, Panajot Pano, Miço Papadhopulli, Refik Resmja, Sotir Seferaj, Tomor Shehu, Lin Shllaku.
The 20 August 1961 at the 'Mithatpaşa' stadium (formerly 'Dolmabahçe', today 'İnönü') - designed by the Italian architect Paolo Vietti-Violi (1882-1965) - the first Turkish-Albanian match was played in front of 20.773 spectators.
The Partizani wore a singular shirt with horizontal stripes in red and black national colors and with the red star on the left; black shorts and black socks with four red stripes. The Albanians lost 1-0 (Nedim Doğan 13 '). Lineups:
Fenerbahce: Şükrü Ersoy, Atilla Altaş, Özcan Arkoç (Nationality Tur.), Necati Toker, Naci Erdem (Nationality Tur.), Kadri Aytaç (Nat.), Hilmi Kiremitçi (Nat.) [Mustafa Güven], Ergun Öztuna, Yüksel Gündüz, Nedim Doğan, Lefter Küçükandonyadis (naz.); all .: László Székely.
Partizani: Sulejman Maliqati, Iljaz Dingu, Qamil Halluni, Lin Shllaku, Miço Papadhopulli, Gani Merja, Kolec Kraja, Miço Ndini, Panajot Pano, Refik Resmja, Stavri Lubonja; all .: Rexhep Spahiu.
Arbitration: A. Toth, S. Mataiser, Ch. Cziac (Romania)
Induced by the beautiful game of the guests and the appeal of the public and the echoes of the press ("Milliyet" "Türkiye Spor", etc.), the two companies agreed to a friendly match to be played four days later.
This time at the 'Mithatpaşa', the 24 August, 50mila spectators were gathered together and the Partizani conducted a masterly game by winning for 3-2: in the first half 3-1 (Nedim Doğan 13 ', Kolec Kraja 30', 32 ', 40 '). The hosts in the second substituted six players to try to remedy the result, obtaining only the second network at 85 '. At Panajot Pano, after the meeting, it was proposed to stay at Fenerbahçe to the sound of millions of Turkish lira, but he refused.
In the two matches, Fenerbahçe sent on the greatest Turkish footballer of all time Lefter Küçükandonyadis, 752 networks in 23 years of activity, in addition to the well-known Can Bartu [pron. xhan / gian]. Küçükandonyadis had played for Fiorentina in the 1951-52 and in France and Greece. And also Bartu in Italy with Fiorentina 1961-62 and 1963-64, Venice 1962-63, Lazio 1964-67. The coach of the Turks was the Hungarian László Székely, with experiences in Brazil (Juventus São Paulo, Fluminense Rio de Janeiro, Grêmio Porto Alegre), in Italy (Hellas Verona, Palermo, Alessandria, Modena), former coach of the Israeli national teams and Turkish.
In the return of the September 30 to the 'Dinamo' stadium (from the 1993 'Selman Stërmasi') for the first time a NATO country was playing in the Albanian borders. Present were the founder of the Sportklub Tiranë, Selman Stërmasi (1908-76), and the Albanian from Visokë [Mallakastër], Dr. Vasfi Samimi (1908-81), former goalkeeper of Fenerbahçe in the 1927-28 and then of the Sportklub in the 1931 and of the Flamurtari.
Then the 'Dinamo' stadium had a capacity of 10 thousand seats, but 20mila tickets were sold. Enthusiasts also arrived from Shkodra the night before to secure tickets for the central grandstand. Besnik Dizdari himself, together with his friends, entered the stadium at the 10: 30, five hours before the meeting began.
At 15: 30 the starting whistle: in practice the Fenerbahçe was the Turkish national team. The formations:
Partizani: Sulejman Maliqati, Fatbardh Deliallisi, Miço Papadhopulli, Iljaz Dingu, Pavllo Bukoviku, Gani Merja, Kolec Kraja, Panajot Pano, Lin Shllaku, Refik Resmja, Robert Jashari. all .: Rexhep Spahiu.
Fenerbahce: Şükrü Ersoy, Atilla Altaş, Naci Erdem (n. Tur.), İsmail Kurt (naz.), Şeref Has (naz.), Basri Dirimlili (naz.), Hilmi Kiremitçi (naz.), Özer Kanra, Can Bartu ( naz.), Kadri Aytaç (naz.), Selim Soydan. all .: László Székely.
Arbitration: Hristov, Jonov, Dundarov (Bulgaria).
The meeting ended 0-0: two strong teams that failed to win the other. The following 2 October the Fenerbahçe played a friendly with Dinamo losing 1-0 (Lorenc Vorfi 6 ').
Nineteen days after the 1-0, "Zëri i Popullit", published the Declaration of the Central Committee of the Party of Labor of Albania against the attacks on the PLA and the country conducted by Nikita Chruščëv from the tribune of the XXII Congress of the Communist Party of Soviet Union. The following December 3 Moscow broke diplomatic relations with Tirana which, in fact, came out of the Warsaw Pact.
As you will notice the spectacular welcome of the Albanians to Istanbul, and the great friendship with which the former "Ottoman occupants" were hosted in Tirana, were certainly not a coincidence, but linked to the parallel traditions of sport and politics that have always characterized the Albania from 1944 to 1991.
The Balkan Cup ended the 15 November 1961: the Partizani with 8 points won the bronze medal (qr 1,33), with the same of Levski Sofia (qr 1,45) and Sarı Kanaryalar (yellow canaries) (qr 0,82). The Cup was won by Steagul Roșu, the AEK came last. The Partizani waited nine years and won the 1970 edition.
(1) It was assigned to Italy thanks to the points achieved by: Alessandria, Catania, Catanzaro, Naples, Palermo, Rome, Triestina, Verona, which won 19 points against the 13 of Switzerland (Biel, Friborg, La Chaux-de- Fonds, Lucerne, St. Gallen, Young Boys Bern, Young Fellows Zurich, FC Zurich) in the sixteen round-trip matches.
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