Wednesday 18 December 2019, 15:13

Teacher in Turkey inspires youth through the beautiful game

  • Player-turned-coach Kubra Keskindokur is part of the FIFA Fan Movement

  • She created Kubra ile Futbol, Turkey’s first online football school

  • “Football is a magnificent universal language”

When Kubra Keskindokur’s time as a competitive football player came to an end, she was far from ready to give up the game entirely.

“Of course, I had to continue to keep football with me,” the FIFA Fan Movement member who resides in Istanbul told “I won’t let football get away from me.”

Keskindokur enjoyed success in the late 1990s and early 2000s wearing the colours of Dinarsuspor, Zeytinburnuspor, Dostluk and also Marshall, which at the time was the informal women’s football club of Galatasaray. She won league championships and even earned a tryout with the national team.

Now she’s managed to transition into a football schedule far busier than her playing days. It began with Kubra ile Futbol (“Football with Kubra”), her instructional YouTube channel that boasts over 50,000 subscribers.

“I wanted to create this project online for girls who don’t have football clubs in their cities,” she explained. “With my project, I try to inspire them. You can learn to play yourself. I publish one video per week, and they’re mostly related to football techniques – from how to pass and shoot to fun techniques like rainbow flicks.”

Though she approached the project with helping girls at the front of her mind, Keskindokur’s content is made for everyone.

“I want to inspire boys, too,” she said. “One thing I’ve appreciated about the boys who watch my channel is that they don’t discriminate. They’ve learned and they’ve thanked me for teaching them.”

In 2016 Keskindokur became the first female coach at Barcelona’s football school in Istanbul, training boys and girls ages 8-14. This past summer, she was honoured to attend and participate in the inaugural FIFA Women’s Football Convention, held in Paris ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

“It was a history-making event,” said Keskindokur. “We had very important conversations about making progress in women’s football, and I felt proud to be there bringing hope for my country.”

Her involvement in the Fan Movement continues to bring her pride.

“It has changed my life in a positive way, being the first ambassador from Turkey,” she said. “That shows how FIFA and the world football community care about us, which I see and my fans see. I live football in a different way now compared to how I did as a player. Having the opportunity to meet new people is fantastic. The Fan Movement is a football family.”

What’s next? On top of Keskindokur’s YouTube channel, additional teaching duties, editing football psychology articles and the Fan Movement, she decided to start her own football club in September. Sihirli Kramponlar is dedicated to girls aged 8-12 and aimed to help them develop their skills with Keskindokur’s methodology. Training began in November.

“The great thing about football is that it's a magnificent universal language,” she said. “You can communicate with different ages, different sexes and different backgrounds. It builds teamwork. All you need is a ball.”