BAKU, Azerbaijan, September 7
President of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev has received in a video format Farid Gayibov due to his appointment as Minister of Youth and Sports.
The head of state made a speech at the video meeting.
Speech of President Ilham Aliyev:
- You are being appointed Minister of Youth and Sports. Great confidence is being placed in you. I am sure that you will live up to this confidence. The sports community of our country knows you very well. You have been working in the field of sports for many years. At the same time, you are the President of European Gymnastics. You were elected to this position a few years ago, and this shows that you have gained authority in the international arena as well. Taking into account these factors, I am placing this high confidence in you and hope that there will be good results in the field of sports and youth policy.
In general, the field of sports has developed rapidly in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan today is recognized worldwide as a country of sports. Our athletes show good results in international competitions. It is true that the Azerbaijani public has grown accustomed to victories in sports, and if we cannot achieve any results, of course, people get disappointed. However, we should all know that the level of competition in the field of sports is quite strong, and the results shown in the field of sports in recent years are certainly a source of pride. Our athletes have made us happy at world, European and other international competitions. Although we won fewer medals in the last Summer Olympics than in the Rio Olympics, I still think that our athletes showed good results. In terms of the number of medals, Azerbaijan ranks 33rd, 20th among European countries and fourth among Muslim countries. True, our athletes did not win a gold medal this time, but they came very close. But let me repeat that sport is about victories and defeats. In general, the results achieved in the field of sports are very positive. Our Paralympians made us very happy and won many medals, including many gold medals, showing great skill, professionalism and dedication. Of course, this is a very important event, and we are rightly proud of our Paralympians.
At the same time, the shortcomings in the field of sports must be seriously investigated and analyzed. In particular, work in some federations was unsatisfactory in the run-up to the Olympic Games. So the situation in all federations needs to be seriously analyzed. Special attention should be paid to the training process and training camps. We must also take into account the fact that our athletes who won medals at the last Olympic Games are experienced athletes. They are almost veteran athletes. There are no representatives of the younger generation among them, and this should be analyzed very seriously. How can there be such a gap between generations, such a distance, so to speak? In recent years, the construction of sports facilities has been stepped up in all our regions. About 50 of our sports and Olympic centers operate in the regions alone. Their activities should be seriously examined. What is the level of the training process, can children and teenagers come to the sports facilities, what are the conditions for doing sports? Because we have created this infrastructure and these centers in order to enhance the popularity of sports and to train professional athletes. Given that young athletes failed to win medals at the Tokyo Olympics, this needs to be scrutinized. The situation in sport clubs should be analyzed as well. In other words, we must draw the right conclusions. We can, of course, be proud of our victories, but there are also shortcomings that need to be addressed. Transparency in this area must be fully ensured and all unpleasant situations must be seriously dealt with.
It is necessary to pay very serious attention to the issues of education in the field of sports. In general, the process of educating our youth should be in the spotlight at all times. Our youth must be educated on the basis of traditional values. Traditional values are our main pillar in both schools and families. Azerbaijani values, our national values are the main principle for us, and the young generation must be educated in this spirit, in the national spirit, in the spirit of patriotism. The younger generation must be free of all negative external influences, and there should be educational work to achieve this. Young people must be educated, knowledgeable and, at the same time, they should be attached to our national culture. They must understand our national values, keep them alive, and very serious work must be done in this direction. Because there are processes of globalization in the present-day world, and in some cases, foreign circles choose young people as a target. In other words, efforts are being made to deceive and mislead young people. We are seeing this and, of course, this must be prevented. The feelings of patriotism must come to the fore in this. Of course, our bright and historic victory in the Second Karabakh War must play the key role in educating young people. Every single day of the 44-day war is dear to us. The memory of our martyrs who gave their lives for the homeland is dear and sacred to us, and young people should be educated on the basis of these examples. Our young people will grow up as representatives of a victorious nation. This has a great moral and psychological meaning. Azerbaijan was a country under occupation for many years. We, the Azerbaijanis, lived as a people expelled from our homeland by the enemy, we lived in suffering, we experienced both physical and spiritual torment. But we put an end to it. From now on, we will forever live as a victorious people, as a victorious country, as a proud people. Your ministry has a great responsibility to keep this glorious history alive, to protect it and to educate the youth on the basis of that.
I am sure that you realize this responsibility and will organize the day-to-day activities of the ministry on the basis of these principles. I congratulate you and wish you the best of luck in your activities.
Farid Gayibov: Thank you very much, Mr. President. First of all, let me express my deep gratitude to you for your trust and for the words you have said about me. It is a great honor for me. The tasks and recommendations you gave are clear, and I will start working in this direction immediately. I promise to do my best. I believe that the Azerbaijani youth living in a healthy society will continue to delight you and the people of Azerbaijan with their continued successes in the near future and our athletes with new victories. Thank you very much.