On Sunday May 15th, the head of central Tallinn’s Kristiine District Administration, Jaanus Riibe and the president of FC Flora football team Pelle Pohlak had the honor to celebrate the opening of the memorial bench to remember Garik Iknojan, a businessman of Armenian origin, for his contribution to the Estonian football. The newly installed bench is located by Kotka stadium in Tallinn on Linnu Str 5 - where the football camp’s flag square is located.
„Kotka football stadium was built two decades ago by businessman Garik Iknojan. It was a present for his grandson, whose football team lacked a home ground for games and training. The stadium was finally built in cooperation of many parties. There was a waste ground before, where the Kotka football hall and open-air field are located now. Kristiine District Administration helped with the removal of the waste back then. Garik Iknojan made the place a home-stadium for the team. Also Aivar Pohlak, today the president of the Estonian Football Association, back in 2003, the president of football team called FC Flora, helped organize the installing of football grass to the camp. After having found financing through the association,“ explained Jaanus Riibe, the head of Kristiine District Administration.
The memorial bench was celebrated on a symbolic day – the Day of Tallinn City. Football is highly popular in Estonia, and the fans never forget their great men and their good deeds.
„I invite all the tallinnese to practice football, as it unites people. On these football grounds here, history has seen famous football players start their carreer. Both, the young and the elderly can practice football here,“ Riibe invates people of all ages to take up his favorite sports.
Over 1000 players currently practice in FC Flora, most of which have had their first rendez-vous with football on this very field.
"When Garik Iknojan built the Kotka stadium, so his grandson would have a site to play on, he paved the way for hundreds of kids who love football to take up this sports, thus opening them the gates of the afascinating world of football. The memory of Garik really needed this form of remembering,“ Pelle Pohlak, the president of FC Flora commented on the opening event.
One’s gratitude belongs to FC Flora and the family of Garik Iknojan.
Garik Iknojan (1942 – 2013) was an honorary cityzen of Tallinn, the founder of Kotka stadium and – hall in Tallinn, the honorary council of Armenia in Estonia during 1999-2005 and a long-term chairman of Estonia’s Armenian National Union (Eesti Armeenia Rahvusühing).