AFFA sets task for Azerbaijani football team in 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification
Azerbaijan, Baku, Sept. 4 / Trend M. Aliyev /
The Azerbaijani football team has set a goal to score more than seven points in the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, secretary general of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), Elkhan Mammadov, told Trend on Tuesday.
"At the last World Cup qualification the Azerbaijani team scored seven points, a record for the team. This time it intends to renew that record," he said.
According to the AFFA secretary general, the favourites in Group F which features Azerbaijan are Portugal and Russia and Northern Ireland is not the weakest opponent.
"It is not out of place to recall that at the Euro 2012 qualification, the Azerbaijani team defeated the leading contender, the team from Turkey," Mammadov said.
He said that over the past four years Azerbaijani football both at club and team level, had witnessed certain, though not very strong progress.
"Of course both we and the fans would like to see our national team qualified for the final stage of the World Cup. However at the same time we must realise that without the stadiums and adequate infrastructure it's impossible to achieve it," Mammadov said.
He noted that a lot has been done in this respect. Over the past six years, six Premier League clubs acquired their own stadiums.
Speaking about the prospects of the team, the AFFA secretary general noted that the team is formed of young players having an average age of 23. So this team may play for another four or five years and achieve a result," he said.
Group F in addition to Azerbaijan, includes Russia, Portugal, Northern Ireland, Israel and Luxembourg.
At the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualification, Azerbaijan will hold the first game on September 7 against Israel and on September 11 - Portugal.