Embassy: "Iranian" athletes' presence in Khankandi sports event illegal
By Ayya Lmahamad
The Iranian embassy in Azerbaijan has described as illegal the participation of several people who presented themselves as athletes from Iran at special sports competitions held in Azerbaijan's Khankandi city, Trend has reported.
In a statement regarding the conduct of the special sports competitions (mixed martial arts) in Khankandi, the embassy emphasized that MMA (mixed martial arts) is associated with non-traditional martial arts, due to violence, as well as gambling, in Iran.
"It is not officially recognized and is among the banned competitions. This type of combat had no federation in Iran. Those involved in this field operate secretly and illegally," the statement said.
The statement underlined that the participants of the competitions held on December 28 in Khankandi have nothing to do with the Iranian Sport and Youth Ministry.
"They participate in competitions illegally anywhere in the world," the statement added.
It should be noted that Azerbaijan has not yet been observed to officially react to the participation of athletes from Iran in the abovementioned sports event in Khankandi.
It should be noted that after a period of aggravated tensions and a series of regrettable episodes that should have been avoided, Azerbaijani-Iranian relations entered a new age of rapprochement after Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Iran signed a gas swap deal in late November on the sidelines of the 15th Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) summit held in the Turkmen capital of Ashgabat.
President Ilham Aliyev said that Azerbaijan and Iran are writing the modern history of their ties.
“Our relations are also quite broad. Our peoples share a common history and culture. This is very beautiful ground. We are writing the modern history of bilateral relations on this basis,” he said.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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