FEATURE | FK Arkadag: The team which has won every single game in its history

FK Arkadag was established a little over a year ago, on April 1, 2023.

Since their inception, the team from Turkmenistan have won every match they’ve played.

Arkadag began competing in the country’s top flight Yokary Liga instantaneously and went on to win 24/24 games in the nine-team league.

They scored 83 goals and only conceded 17 across the whole of the 2023 season and are unsurprisingly doing the same at the beginning of the 2024 season.

After just five games, FK Arkadag have a maximum of 15 points while scoring 25 goals and conceding just two.

However, it is safe to say that the rise of this young football club isn’t at all surprising – especially to the people of Turkmenistan.

FK Arkadag was founded by Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, who is currently the chairman of the People’s Council of Turkmenistan. He is also the former President of the country and his reign lasted for 16 years between 2006 and 2022.

Berdimuhamedov’s son, Serdar, ‘won’ the election in 2022 once his father stepped down so it is evident he still has ties to the government now.

However, the former president began creating a new ‘smart city’ back in 2019, which was a massive project costing near to a reported $3.3bn.

And unlike so many of Turkmenistan’s cities, Arkadag has modern schools, nurseries, and state-of-the-art hospitals, as well as cutting edge surveillance and monitoring systems.

There is also a shiny new 10,000-seat stadium for FC Arkadag, whose kit design was overseen by Berdymukhammedov.

Despite the countries incredibly high poverty rates, this project was invested in heavily and many Turkmen felt neglected that lived in other parts of the country.

But once this city was built, Berdimuhamedov decided it needed a brand new football team and this is where FK Arkadag were formed.

The name of the city and now football team “Arkadag” comes from a nickname bestowed upon the former president, and is directly translated as “Hero Protector.”

Before their debut season, FK Arkadag  were placed in the top division and then raided other clubs like Altyn Asyr and Ahal for all their best players.

The team ended up looking very similar to the squad of the Turkmenistan national team ahead of the new season.

According to Al Jazeera, many fans complained about the favourable decisions that went in the way of the newly formed club.

One example was as a controversial decision given in the final seconds against Sagadam in November that ensured a 3-2 victory.

Following their perfect season, FK Arkadag earned themselves a place in the 2024/25 Asian Champions League 2 qualifiers.

We are still yet to see FK Arkadag outside their domestic league, so it will be fascinating to see how they fair in the Asian Champions League 2 later on in the year.

Get Football | Ewan Minns

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