There are less than 200 days left before kick-off for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan, and the intense preparation phase became even more colourful with the visit of a Croatian footballing legend.
Dario Simic, who counted Dinamo Zagreb, Inter Milan, AC Milan and Monaco among his club sides, visited Baku in order to show his support for Azerbaijan 2012. Elkhan Mammadov, the AFFA General Secretary and LOC Chairman for the upcoming tournament held a meeting with Simic to discuss the development of women’s football in Azerbaijan.
The LOC for the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup selected Simic as a friend of the competition in order to promote the tournament outside Azerbaijan and all over Europe. During his three-day trip to the country he attended various activities as it gears up for the tournament which begins on 22 September.
The 1998 FIFA World Cup™ bronze medal winner visited a school where the players of the U-17 women’s team are educated. Simic also watched two friendly matches between the Azerbaijan and Georgia U-17 women’s teams at the Dalga Arena on 2 and 4 March respectively. Media representatives had the opportunity to meet the legendary former footballer at a specially organised Press Conference.
Simic got to see the volunteering programme which aims to involve 1,000 volunteers at Azerbaijan 2012. He met with students and shared his views on the importance of volunteering, encouraging the young people to take their chance and become part of such an incredible and international event.
“This is my first visit to Azerbaijan,” said Simic. “I’m impressed with the development I’ve seen in women’s football. I know that this team is newly formed, and from watching the friendly matches, I believe they will represent their country with pride during the tournament.
“It is my pleasure to help spread the word about the Azerbaijan 2012. The volunteering programme is very important for the preparations. No such a big event can be organised without volunteers. Meeting with the students who are eager to become volunteers, I strongly encourage them to take this opportunity, and be part of this incredible and international team.”