AFFA Sec. Gen.: We want whole region to feel thrill of EURO 2020

AFFA Sec. Gen.: We want whole region to feel thrill of EURO 2020

Baku, Azerbaijan, June 8


Baku is getting ready to serve as one of the 12 host cities for EURO 2020. The general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), Elkhan Mammadov, describes the association’s plans for the EURO, why Baku is a great destination for football fans, and the legacy that is being built, Trend report citing UEFA.

“We built a strategy so that Baku would become a sporting hub in the future, and slowly we are getting there. Baku will become a sporting hub,” he says, recognising the commitment shown by the association and local stakeholders, who are already driving to make the EURO a success in Baku.

So, what attracted the City of Winds – as Baku is known because of the sweeping gusts from the Caspian Sea – to becoming a EURO host? The city’s pedigree in staging major events is growing, and shaping football in Azerbaijan for years to come is the AFFA’s motivation.

“The legacy will be having more people to play football, to grow the game,” Mammadov says. “Football is a sport, a sport that will never stop growing. Moreover, in the last few years, its popularity has increased remarkably. Yes, there are other sports as well, and interest in them has also increased. However, football has always been the most popular sport of them all.

“For us, it is important to maintain the level of interest in football in the country and in the region as well. The legacy for us will be more kids playing football, more kids going outside and leaving their computers behind and playing football, therefore, encouraging a healthier lifestyle and building a healthier nation.”

In perfect harmony

The largest city on the coast of the Caspian Sea, Baku is the lowest-lying capital in the world, at 28 metres below sea level. Baku is also home to the Baku Olympic Stadium, which will host three group matches plus a quarter-final at EURO 2020.

A city that has benefitted from rapid expansion in recent years, Baku also boasts a rich historical heritage, including Icheri Sheher, the old town, home to various cultural sites and the grand 15th-century Shirvanshahs Palace. Keen to showcase the impressive capital, Mammadov is looking forward to welcoming fans from across Europe, and beyond.

”Baku has the advantage of being a city of harmony, with both a historic part which is very interesting and attractive for sightseeing, and also a modern part with different art exhibitions as well as different modern attractions,” he says. “Moreover, Baku is a sporting hub, with different sporting activities. So, tourists can enjoy three major sides of the city during their stay in Baku. All these sites are very close to each other, some even within walking distance.

An unmissable party

In addition to promoting regional engagement and supporting fan mobility, Mammadov wants to see EURO 2020 leave a profound and lasting impact on the people of Baku. “For 2020, we are building a story of the EURO in general in Baku, and in neighbouring countries,” Mammadov adds. “Because we want the whole region to feel the thrill of EURO 2020. There will be different exciting activities organised in the city and we are going to extend the duration of the fan zone experience, so people can come and enjoy themselves there, and then go to the matches to support their teams.”

Mammadov also explains how the buzz of the EURO will land in Baku long before the matches begin. “We want to build the fan zones before the event starts. So, maybe 30 days before the event, the fan zones will already be open. Volunteers, fans and tourists will be able to come and feel part of the event, including tourists who are not there for the matches. This is very important. And I think this will create a kind of competition among the fans as well because the 12 host cities will have their own fans.

“Prior to the event, we are planning to have different EURO-related competitions and there will be different sporting activities, not only football. Additional entertainment programmes will be arranged closer to the date. We are planning to have a calendar of events to promote EURO 2020 and the other host cities and, of course, to connect with the fans in the other 11 cities.”

Mammadov’s message to fans is: “Simply enjoy the EURO as much as possible. The event will last 30 days. Take the opportunity to take 30 days off, take a holiday and enjoy all 12 host cities.”


Situated on the shores of the Caspian Sea, Baku is the most easterly of the EURO 2020 host cities and will leave a striking impression when it welcomes the EURO for the first time. Baku is the capital of Azerbaijan, also known as the Land of Fire, and the natural gas fires burning on the hillside of the nearby Yanar Dag mountain are certainly a sight to behold. The Flame Towers skyscrapers in the city centre echo this natural phenomenon, lending a modern face to an ancient city. New too is the Baku Olympic Stadium that opened in 2015, has already staged Qarabağ FK’s UEFA Champions League group matches and the UEFA Europa League final this season.

Subscribe to Trend in Google News! Subscribe
Preventive maintenance of substation conducted at SOCAR’s Kulevi terminal
Preventive maintenance of substation conducted at SOCAR’s Kulevi terminal
Georgian PM invited to Eastern Partnership Summit
Georgian PM invited to Eastern Partnership Summit
Cavushoglu, Blinken discuss situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia
Cavushoglu, Blinken discuss situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia
Loading Bars
EU supports measures to establish long-term peace in South Caucasus - EU High Representative
Energy efficiency needs to be tackled by all stakeholders – Azerbaijan’s deputy energy minister
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for December 2
Bakcell subscribers now have the opportunity to renew "Asan Imza" via SMS
Unprecedented opportunities for peace available in South Caucasus - Turkish FM
Iran increases import of wheat
Azerbaijani Air Force Bayraktar drones make training flights (VIDEO)
US, UK’s ambassadors visit Azerbaijan’s Aghdam district (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan, CAREC to create Green Energy Alliance concept
Crucial to correctly and fully inform public about major investigation processes – aide to Azerbaijani President
Volume of loaded/unloaded cargo in Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port declines
OSCE fully supports possible development of ties among South Caucasus countries - Chairperson-in-Office
Azerbaijan's monetary base increases for 11M2021
Azerbaijan raised mine threat issue before int'l community – president’s assistant
It is necessary to minimize references to Armenian media – assistant to Azerbaijani President
Situation on Azerbaijani-Armenian border is stable - Azerbaijani president's aide
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price dips
Turkey discloses number of docking ships at Aliaga port for 10M2021
Sustainable peace is required to build culture – Azerbaijani minister
Azerbaijani people always call for peace - assistant to President
Azerbaijan Banks Association, VISA talk strategic plans
Azerbaijan shares data on mine accidents for Nov. 2021
British Council and the ADA University are bringing together entrepreneurs and students for a #mycreativespark forum (PHOTO)
Number of rules prevent Iran from exporting minerals, mining products - TPOI
Number of industrial enterprises launched in Iran grows
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 electricity export increases
Azerbaijan's Express-C auctions its bonds through Baku Stock Exchange
Azerbaijani Customs Committee exceeds forecast for transfers to state budget in 11M2021
Uzbek and Russian companies to use new technologies for production of high-octane gasoline
Israeli startups raised $2.8b in November
President Ilham Aliyev sends congratulations to head of UAE
OPEC+ weighs output policy as Omicron fears hammer prices
We see opportunity for young generation of Azerbaijan, Armenia to find common language – president’s assistant
Azerbaijan known for its cultural diversity - head of International Fund for Turkic Culture and Heritage
SOCAR reveals volume of oil supply via Baku-Novorossiysk
Sustainable peace needed to restore Azerbaijan's destroyed cultural heritage – minister
Peace can only be achieved through dialogue - International Dialogue Center (PHOTO)
Sustainable peace requires continuous effort - UN High Representative
Azerbaijan becomes center for different religions, cultures, thanks to President Ilham Aliyev - FFEU (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan waited 30 years for UNESCO to talk about country's destroyed cultural heritage - president's assistant (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan to be praised for its efforts towards greater appreciation of peace building - ICESCO Director General
Azerbaijan hosts Peace4Culture Partners Forum 2021
Turkmenistan, Tajikistan to attract small, medium businesses to joint projects
Azerbaijan discloses oil exports to India over 10M2021
Azerbaijan’s 10M2021 oil exports to Portugal revealed
S.Korea hits new COVID-19 record, halts quarantine exemptions to block Omicron
Azerbaijan reveals oil exports to Germany in 10M2021
Number of passenger planes received by Iran’s Persian Gulf International Airport soars
Iran unveils data on projects to be launched, based on pre-agreed foreign investments
Baku Book Center hosts book presentation of writer Charlie MacKesy, translated into Azerbaijani (PHOTO)
Canadian Condor Petroleum to convert Kazakhstan’s freight locomotive fleet to run on LNG
Uzbekhydroenergo JSC’s program to support decarbonisation in Uzbekistan – Fitch Ratings
Iran records increase in cargo movements at Khorramshahr port
Azerbaijan reveals number of streets in Baku named after martyrs of second Karabakh war (Exclusive)
Preventive maintenance of substation conducted at SOCAR’s Kulevi terminal
President Ilham Aliyev receives president of Turkish Council of Higher Education (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Azerbaijan's Central Bank increases its foreign exchange reserves since early 2021
Heydar Aliyev Foundation completes restoration of Catholic Church of Blessed Virgin Mary in Baku (PHOTO)
First known UAE case of Omicron variant detected in fully vaccinated traveller
Uzbekistan shares domestic COVID-19 data for December 1
Azerbaijani currency rates for December 2
Azerbaijani oil prices increase
Azerbaijan elected member of UNESCO Committee for Protection of Cultural Property in Event of Armed Conflict
Iranian currency rates for Dec. 2
Oil rises as investors focus on OPEC+ decision amid growing Omicron fears
Azerbaijan announces new auctions on state property facilities
US to strengthen travel restrictions
IAEA says Iran begun using advanced centrifuge at Fordow
Iran, Russia to speed up construction of International North-South Corridor
Uzbekistan tightens quarantine measures for people coming from Germany, UK and 9 other countries
Georgian PM invited to Eastern Partnership Summit
Ireland reports first case of Omicron variant
Amazon invests in 274 renewable energy projects globally
World Bank backs using $280 mln in frozen aid funds for Afghanistan
Cavushoglu, Blinken discuss situation in Azerbaijan and Armenia
Alec Baldwin on fatal movie set shooting; ‘I didn't pull the trigger’
Afghanistan's GDP likely to drop 20 pct in one year: UN
UAE reports its first case of COVID-19 variant Omicron
Moderna exec says company could have Omicron booster ready in March
UN says international migration rose last year despite Covid-19 impact
Kyrgyz border service reports shots from Tajikistan
Bennett declares ‘Yamam’ Israel’s national counterterrorism force
Transport infrastructure in Karabakh to turn Azerbaijan into logistics hub between Central Asia and Europe – CAERC
Four injured after old WWII aircraft bomb explodes in Munich - police
1st US case of COVID-19 omicron variant identified - Fauci
OPEC can elect new secretary general in January 2022 — source
President Erdogan talks bilateral relations with Crown Prince of UAE
Georgia to receive special PCR tests to detect new Omicron variant of coronavirus
Qatar Airways to launch flights to Uzbekistan from Jan 17, 2022
Iran military clashes with armed men on Afghan border
Armenia found itself in complete military-political isolation even within CSTO - Russian military expert
Net foreign assets in Azerbaijan grow for 10M2021
New geopolitical situation in region opens way for Azerbaijan’s further development - ambassador
Ambassador of Kazakhstan expresses condolences to Azerbaijan due to helicopter crash
Azerbaijan working on reconstruction railway line which is part of Zangazur corridor (PHOTO)
SOCAR’s STAR refinery tests numerous types of crude oil
Azerbaijan considering sending medical workers of Baku clinics to district hospitals
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens
Azerbaijan confirms 1,795 more COVID-19 cases, 1,967 recoveries
Azerbaijani National Depository Center opens tender to buy new generation security system
All news