FAN NEWS & BLOGS

"It’s a tough game to call since Galatasaray will want to qualify and we’re already guaranteed top spot. I just hope we'll see an entertaining fixture with a few goals and a memorable atmosphere."

- Zeinab Fawaz, President Lebanon Supporters' Club

19/11/2012 20:05, Report by Nick Coppack
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Lebanese Reds in Turkey

Among United's travelling support on Tuesday will be numerous members of the official Lebanon supporters' club. The club's president Zeinab Fawaz took time out to answer our questions about the fans' group and the match in Turkey...

How many members do you have and how long have you been operating for?
Our fan club was started in 2006 by a few university students. The introduction of Facebook really helped it expand. In the beginning it was merely a way to virtually interact with other United fans across Lebanon but after many registered an interest in meeting, we started hosting events ranging from watching United to playing football and even a few PlayStation tournaments. It wasn't until 2012 that we became an official supporters' club and we now have 70 paid members, a few season ticket holders and more than 5,400 fans on Facebook.

How do you normally follow the games?
We started meeting for games in 2009 and went to four or five pubs before we finally settled on one appropriately named 'Champions'. With more than 100 fans showing up for games against the likes of Liverpool, City, Arsenal and Chelsea we needed a pub big enough to accommodate the increasing demand.

How popular is football and the Premier League in Lebanon?
As football fans we are starved of quality when it comes to our national team and local clubs. There is little investment and a lack of support. However, with the impressive growth of private youth academies there is hope that one day we’ll be represented at a World Cup. When it comes to club football, we're very passionate about the Premier League. Nothing comes even close to it in terms of quality, entertainment and title races. United definitely have the biggest following and as the first officially recognised fan club in Lebanon we’ll make sure it remains that way!

How many of your members are travelling to Turkey?
All in all we will have at least 18 Lebanese Manchester United fans heading to Istanbul. As soon as the draw was made, it was clear we would try to arrange a trip to Turkey. The only worry was getting tickets to the game but being members of an official supporters' club has made things easier.

What will the journey involve?
It's a two-hour flight from Beirut to Istanbul. It's a shorter trip compared to Manchester, which requires at least seven hours' travel. Since we've already qualified many have rendered this

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