By Nigar Orujova
Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev received the Fair Play award from the European Fair Play Movement on October 8.
The head of state was awarded the medal for the development of sport in Azerbaijan, support for the Fair Play Movement and commitment to the principles of fairness in sport by the president of the European Fair Play Movement, Christian Hinterberger.
President Aliyev met with the President of the Movement, International Fair Play Committee President Jeno Kamuti, and Vice President of the European Fair Play Movement, Erdogan Aripinari, in Baku.
The head of state expressed satisfaction with the 21st General Assembly of the European Fair Play Movement and the first joint congress of the International Fair Play Committee and the European Fair Play Movement in Baku, and praised the participation of the numerous delegations in attendance.
President Aliyev touched upon the importance of cooperation with international sports bodies and expressed hope that interesting discussions would be held in the course of event.
He also noted that the first European Games have aroused a great interest in Azerbaijan, and highlighted the successful performance of the Azerbaijani athletes.
The president expressed his gratitude to the International Fair Play Movement for awarding him the special medal, and stressed that as the president of the National Olympic Committee, he would continue to successfully support the development of sports in the future.
Aripinari stressed that Azerbaijan has set a new trend in the world as the organizer of high-level international sports competitions, and appraised the first European Games in Baku as a momentous event.
He thanked the head of state for the support given to the organization of the 21st General Assembly of the European Fair Play Movement in Baku and the first joint congress of the International Committee Fair Play and the European Fair Play Movement.
Kamuti also noted that he followed the first European Games with interest, and conveyed his congratulations to President Aliyev on the success of the Games in Azerbaijan.
He stressed that he was impressed by the active participation of people in the competitions and the sincere support of each athlete.
The European Games kicked off in Baku on June 12 with an extravagant show that presented the history of Azerbaijan, its culture, art and traditions to the world.
The first issue of the Games in Baku gathered over 6,000 athletes from 50 countries of Europe to compete in 20 sports, 16 of which were Olympic. The national team took second place in the overall ranking at the Games, following the Russian team.
Hinterberger also noted with satisfaction that he personally followed the European Games in Baku and congratulated the head of state for the organization of the Games and the successes achieved by Azerbaijani athletes.
He appreciated the attention given to the sports in the country, particularly to fair play, and noted that the organization of the first joint congress of the fair play committees in Baku is a successful symbol of cooperation.
The president of the movement expressed gratitude to President Aliyev for the fact that he took on the task of event organization, saying that they intend to continue cooperation with the relevant authorities of the country in the future.
The Fair Play Congress is underway in Baku, lasting from October 7 to 11. The main topic of the congress is “Fair Play in Competitive Sport – Making it Real or just an Ideal.”
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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