Only Azerbaijani Footballers to Play for Azerbaijani National Team, Says AFFA Secretary General
Azerbaijan, Baku, 6 October / Trend corr. R.Ergun / The Azerbaijan Football Federations Association (AFFA) Secretary General Elkhan Mammadov's interview with Trend .
Question: Mr. Elkhan, can you reduce number of clubs in Baku and increase regional teams for development of football?
Answer: We seek quickly to develop football not only in Baku, but also in regions since the first day. If you remember, we offered clubs of the capital city to pass registration not only in Baku. We want teams to appear in the Azerbaijani football representing Shuvalan, Bilajari and Keshla settlements of Baku. Thus, three of four clubs will represent Baku instead six or seven ones.
Question: The Azerbaijani National football team will meet with the Finnish team in Finland on 11 October within the framework of the World Championship 2010. Which result do you expect from this match?
Answer: A difficult match expects our team. It is true that we always should hope a good result. I say to you sincerely that the Finnish team is a strong team, because it scored three goals to the German team.
Question: Many foreign footballers, who have been nationalized, plays for the Azerbaijani National team. What do you think will it be possible to reduce number of such footballers in the National team in future?
Answer: You know that Berti Foghts, the coach of the National team, involved young footballers to the team. I hope that only Azerbaijani footballers will play for the National team after two or three years.
Question: Farzad Hatami, an Iranian footballer playing for Gabala club of Azerbaijan, refused to participate in the Azerbaijani National football team. Media did not unambiguously accept your opinion on this footballer that 'Perhaps, he took the step because of considering Persian himself, not Azerbaijani' ...
Answer: Yes, I said that Hatami should play for the Azerbaijani National team if he is Azerbaijani.
Question: However, you know that the Iranian political regime can pose problem for Hatami's participation in the Azerbaijani team...
Answer: This is his decision. If Hatami is Azerbaijani, he will be glad that he has been invited to the Azerbaijani team. At present, he lives in Azerbaijan, as well.
Question: Do you intend to invite Hatami's father to Azerbaijan to solve the problem?
Answer: We have invited his father to Azerbaijan. He agreed to come to Azerbaijan accepting our invitation. We do not want to solve the problem through telephone. We will talk to him on this matter, when he comes.
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