Sunday, July 22, 2018

European success of the Azerbaijani refugee soccer team in exile

September 13, 2014 by  
Filed under Specials

Azerbaijan is one of the former Soviet republics which gained its independence in 1991. For last decade populations’ interest to sport is increased due to the amount of investments into sport as well as promotion of sport as a healthy style of life by government is widespread.

There are plenty of European and International scale championships, tournaments are taking place in Azerbaijan for the last 4-5 years. Azerbaijan will host the first European Games in Baku in 2015.

The most popular and massively used sport in Azerbaijan is a soccer, as in many other countries. Despite the fact that Azerbaijan is geographically situated in Asia, its national football teams and clubs are struggling in European tournaments.

Unfortunately, Azerbaijan national team have no any considerable success at European qualification games so far, however, Azerbaijani clubs are getting more stronger and stronger year by year. Neftchi Baku and Qarabagh Agdam are the most successful Azerbaijani clubs at Euro Cups. Neftchi Baku for the first time in history of Azerbaijani football was qualified to groups matches at UEFA Europe league two years ago. This year this kind of success repeated by another Azerbaijani team – Qarabagh Aghdam.


Qarabagh Agdam soccer club was established in 1950 and has a rich football history. This team is completely uniqe among all clubs that qualified to play in group matches of UEFA Europe League. Qarabagh is the only clubs among those which is the refugee team in exile for almost 20 years.


Aghdam region of Azerbaijan was occupied by Armenian armed forces during the war between Azerbaijan and Armenia over the Nagorno-Karabakh region of Azerbaijan. In 1993 the ceasefire agreement was signed between the sides of the conlfict. UN Security Counsil has adopted 4 resolutions in 1993 on Nagorno Karabakh conflict and demanded withdrawal of Armenian armed forces from all occupied territories of Azerbaijan (including Aghdam region). However, these resoultions were not implemented by Armenia so far. Qarabagh football team lost its native “Imaret” stadium in Aghdam due to the fact that the stadium was destroyed aloing with the all other constructions, buildings and houses in Azerbaijan.


This refugee team is settled in Baku and plays its games in the different stadiums of Baku. Some years ago Qarabagh tried to play in one of the rare non-occupied villages of Aghdam for several games, but after periodic breach of ceasefire by Armenian forces made Qarabagh club to displace again to Baku due to the security reasons.


This year Qarabagh is going to compete with French Saint Ettienne, Ukrainian Dnipro and Italian famous Internazionale Milano. I wish success to refugee team in exile in these matches and hope that this team will return to its native stadium in the nearest future.


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