Football in Azerbaijan
Football is the most popular sport in Azerbaijan, a country that gained independence in 1991. The national association takes part in all competitions organised by FIFA and UEFA at senior and youth level. Neftchi Baku used to be one of the leading teams in the top league in the Soviet Union, sometimes playing in European club competitions. The most famous player was Anatolii Banishevski, who was part of the Soviet Union team that reached the semi-finals in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. But another Azebaijani legend is also part of footballing history: Tofik Bakhramov was the linesman who played a crucial role in the 1966 Final, when uncertainty clouded England's third goal.
The first Goal Project
After a number of delays, work on the technical centre in Baku was finally completed in spring 2003, with the costs covered by Goal, the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme and UEFA. The government donated the land on which the centre has been built. The centre has two artificial turf pitches, a hotel, a building with dressing rooms, seminar rooms and meeting rooms. It adjoins the Shafa Stadium, which was built just a few years ago and today plays host to the majority of Azerbaijan's international matches. The facilities in the centre are already proving to be extremely popular. Courses, meetings and conferences organised as part of the various youth development programmes take place there each week. With its stadium (and incorporated association headquarters), the nearby leased restaurant, and the training/accommodation facilities, the technical centre in Baku is now the hub of football development work in Azerbaijan.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Technical centre and two artificial pitches in Baku
Project approved
4 July 2001
Opened on 12 October 2004
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 313,994 UEFA USD 225,000 Government Land Total cost USD 938,994