Azerbaijani National Supporters visit FIFA
© LOC

Preparations for Azerbaijan’s first-ever FIFA event intensified this afternoon, with representatives from three of the tournament’s National Supporters visiting Zurich for discussions with FIFA ahead of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

The State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR), Xalq Bank and mobile operator Bakcell have all highlighted their commitment to football and in particular the development of women’s football in Azerbaijan by signing up as sponsors of the event. In this role they will provide crucial local support for the tournament, assisting FIFA and the LOC in promoting and delivering the event.

Ralph Straus, FIFA’s Head of Strategy and Brand Management, was on hand to welcome the visiting party, stating “We are delighted with the trust and support of companies such as SOCAR, Xalq Bank and Bakcell. Their knowledge of the Azerbaijani market and efforts to promote the event in the host country are a crucial component in our drive to deliver a fantastic event this summer.”

“The FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup should be a great occasion for the Azerbaijani people,” said Richard Shearer, CEO of Bakcell. “Football is the people’s game and Bakcell is the people’s mobile operator so we’re delighted to be so closely involved in the event.”

Zaur Gahramanov, SOCAR Energy Switzerland Office Finance Director, echoed Mr Shearer’s sentiments expressing his company’s delight at “strengthening our commitment to grassroots football through this cooperation with FIFA”.
Finally, Elkhan Aghayev, CEO of Xalq Bank, reflected on their involvement in the tournament, stating “We believe that this activity is a small contribution to promoting sport and a healthy lifestyle amongst the population of Azerbaijan”.

The event is set to kick off on 22 September, with Baku and Lankaran the two cities which will be hosting the matches.