Azerbaijan, Baku, Aug. 30 / Trend M. Aliyev /
Hosting FIFA's U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan has led to the development of the infrastructure, AFFA Secretary General Elhan Mammadov told Trend today.
"AFFA president Rovnag Abdullayev determined the development of the infrastructure as being a top priority five years ago," he said. "Work had started in this direction, but holding the World Cup forced us to bring standards into line with the championship and to accelerate the work.
"Tofig Bahramov Stadium was commissioned after the overhaul. The Lankaran Stadium will be altered until Sept. 15 in accordance with FIFA's requirements. The covering of the Shafa Stadium is also being changed. It will be ready by September 10."
He said that the preparatory work for the championship has been rapidly worked on for the last three years.
The Dalga Arena was commissioned during this period," he added. "Bail Stadium will be commissioned on Sept. 1. The eight kilometre stadium will be commissioned within the next two weeks."
Speaking about the participation of distinguished guests in the championship, AFFA Secretary General said that the presence of FIFA president Joseph Blatter has been confirmed.
"Besides Azerbaijan, the heads of federations from 15 member states will be represented at the opening of the championship," he said. "Besides the participants, around 2000 foreign guests are expected to arrive in Azerbaijan."
Mammadov said that the World Cup was brought to Azerbaijan and handed over to the local organising committee on July 6.
"At present, the cup is in Baku," he added. "On September 15, it will be presented in the fan zone on the Seaside Boulevard. Then the cup will be presented to the FIFA office in Azerbaijan."
Tickets were sold online. Now fans can buy lottery tickets over the internet from any world country. Roughly 8000 of the 30,000 tickets are left for the first match of the championship, he said.
He added that besides the standard FIFA sponsors, such local sponsors as Xalq Bank, Bakcell, Pasha Sıgorta and SOCAR were involved.
A friendly match with Zambia will be held as part of the preparation for the World Cup on the Bail Stadium. Talks are being held with Venezuela to hold a friendly match ahead of the championship, Mammadov said.
A positive moment is to conduct a friendly match between Chinese and Canadian soccer players before the World Cup in Azerbaijan.
"In general, the World Cup will have a positive impact on the Azerbaijani economy and will be an advertisement for the country because more than 125 countries will broadcast the matches live," Mammadov said.