By: The PH Team
FC Sheriff Tiraspol is a professional football team of an unrecognized country - Transnistria. The team, plays in Europe and even has taken part in the illustrious UEFA Champion's League.
The team however is not actually considered a Transnistrian team, even though their home is in Tiraspol, the capital of Transnistria.
The team plays as a Moldovan team and also happens to be the best and most successful team in Moldova.
It is sort of an unusual arrangement whereby everyone seems to be happy just pretending that the team is actually a Moldovan team - since they are good.
In addition, since the team's home stadium is better than any stadium that Moldova possesses, the world-class stadium in Tiraspol has even played home for the Moldovan national team - although located in Transnistria and not under the control of the Moldovan government.
In return, FC Sheriff has the opportunity to play in Europe without all of the red-tape of trying to play as a team from a country that doesn't technically exist.
About FC Sheriff Tiraspol
Formed in 1996 as Tiras Tiraspol, the team was renames 'Sheriff' the following year, taking its name from the company which has since been sponsoring it.
The first trophy of FC Sheriff Tiraspol, also dubbed 'the wasps' because of the color of their jerseys, was the Moldovan Cup, which they won in the 1998–99 season, when they also made their debut in the first division.
The team's accomplishments include 17 championship titles, 9 cups and 7 super cups – all competition records. On the European stage, FC Sheriff Tiraspol reached the group stage of the UEFA Europa League on four occasions.
FC Sheriff’s motto ‘UBI CONCORDIA IBI VICTORIA’ means: ‘Where is the unity, there is the victory’. It fully reflects the mission and goal of the club as well as its atmosphere. FC Sheriff’s stated mission is to promote football in the region, bring it to the masses and give joy to the fans with the play and achievements.
Sheriff Company Transnistria
Sheriff, the owning company of FC Sheriff Tiraspol is the second largest company in the unrecognized country of Transnistria.
The company owns everything from soccer (football) teams, gas stations, supermarkets, car dealerships, a publishing house, a tv channel, a construction company and many other crucial industries in Transnistria.
Walking around the streets of Transnistria, tourists cannot miss the Sheriff symbol present in the daily lives of the average local citizens.
The company was formed in the early 1990s by Viktor Gushan and Ilya Kazmaly, former members of the special services during the time of the Soviet Union. Sheriff has become significantly involved in Transnistrian politics.
Sheriff Stadium, Transnistria
Sheriff Stadium is the home ground of Sheriff Tiraspol and is owned by the corporation Sheriff. Construction of the ground began on 1 August 2000, being completed in May 2002, with official opening in July 2002. It was renovated in 2011.
The stadium has a seating capacity for 12,746 spectators and is eligible for FIFA/UEFA international events. Beside Sheriff, the stadium hosted also matches of FC Tiraspol and the Moldova national team.
Asides from main arena of Sheriff Sports Complex, there is also an 8,000 seater stadium, Malaya Sportivnaya Arena, also situated in the same complex, along with eight training fields, a covered training centre, housing for the players, a college for students and a five-star hotel.
The Beginning of FC Sheriff Tiraspol
In the summer of 1996, the football team Tiras (as it was named at the time) made its debut when it was chosen to participate in Division B of the National Championship of Moldova.
Before the second leg, the Sheriff Company became the general sponsor of the team. On April 4th 1997, the sports club of the same name was established and headed by Company President Victor Gushan.
The team was entrusted with the task to enter the National Division of the Championship of Moldova.
With this aim, Mr. Aleskerov, an experienced tutor and former master who had worked with clubs in the top Soviet football top league, was appointed as the head coach. As a result, Sheriff left other teams of Division A behind and entered the National Division of Moldova.
Winner of the Moldova Cup
On 11 July 1998, FC Sheriff Tiraspol debuted in the National Division at the Tiraspol Stadium in Transnistria.
That season, the final match for Moldova Cup between Constructorul and Sheriff took place. FC Sheriff was able to win the Moldova Cup for the first time. The following year, they went on to win second place.
FC Sheriff Tiraspol. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.fc-sheriff.com/en/start/.
Sheriff Tiraspol - Club profile. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.transfermarkt.com/sheriff-tiraspol/startseite/verein/2481.