There are a number of astroturf pitches around Antalya to organise games of football but the main football attraction for tourists and expat residents is going to watch Antalyaspor at the weekends.
Antalyaspor is a football club based in Antalya, Turkey and play their home matches at Antalya Atatürk Stadium. They have been playing in the Turkish Super League consistently since 2008..
Antalyaspor were established in 1966 after three local teams united to establish a club for the coastal city of Antalya. These teams were Yenikapı SuSpor, İlk Işıkspor and Ferrokromspor.
The people of Antalya had to wait until 1982 for their team to be promoted to the Turkcell Super League. However, at the end of 1984-85 season Antalyaspor were relegated to second division again. After spending one season in the second division, Antalyaspor were promoted to the first division. This time they were able to survive in the first division for only one season and at the end of 1986-87 season, Antalyaspor were relegated to second division once more.
At the end of 1993-1994 season Antalyaspor had to play a play-off final to be promoted to the first division. In the play-off final, the opponent was Istanbulspor who had striker Tanju Çolak in their roster. After Tanju scored two goals, Istanbulspor had a 2-0 lead in the game. However, Antalyaspor managed to score two goals to go to the extra time. A free-kick goal in extra time by Adnan helped them win the match 3-2, and they were promoted to the first division.
The team have stayed in first division until 2002. In this period, they represented Turkey in Intertoto Cup two times and in UEFA Cup once. The club’s greatest achievement came in 2000 when they made it to the final of the Turkish Cup. They lost the match 5-3 to Galatasaray, but were given a spot in the UEFA Cup for the coming year. Their first campaign in the UEFA Cup ended when they lost 6-2 to Werder Bremen on aggregate, despite winning two-to-nil at home. In the league they were relegated by just one point that season.
In the 2005-2006 season, Antalyaspor secured a second place after the champions Bursaspor in the Turk Telekom League A, and were promoted to the Turkcell Super League. However, 2006-2007 season was a disappointment for Antalyaspor and she relegated to League A after a 3-1 loss against Gençlerbirliği in Round 34.
The club emblem includes capital letters A and S which stand for Antalya and Spor (sport in Turkish) respectively. In the middle of these letters, there is the figure of Yivli Minare which is one of the several symbols of the city of Antalya.
Click here for the official website.