President Aliyev expressed pride that Azerbaijan and Baku are among the countries and cities chosen to host the FIFA World Cup Trophy Tour.
“This is a great honor for us. Today, this will be a great event and I am confident that the fans will be happy to see the World Cup. With your permission, I have touched this World Cup Trophy. I know that only champions and heads of state can touch it. I am sure this significant event we are celebrating for the first time in our history will cause great interest among our football players and will help this most popular sport develop in Azerbaijan. We are trying to help the development of football and sports.”
Ilham Aliyev noted that Azerbaijan has good results in sports.
“At the Rio Olympics, Azerbaijan ranked 14th in the world in terms of the number of medals,” he said. “We held two prestigious international sporting events - the European Games and the Islamic Solidarity Games - and our team took the second and the first places in terms of medal number, respectively.”
“We are looking forward to hosting the Europa League finals and quarterfinals as well as some group stage matches in the European Championship,” he added. “We are becoming one of the countries that will host prestigious international, European sports and football competitions. Of course, we consider this as a sign of friendship and respect for FIFA. I would like to convey my greetings to Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA, who was our guest. We all know that will remember this historic day.”