By Laman Ismayilova
AZFAR Business League - ABL Cup 2017/18 among Azerbaijani companies has come to an end.
The mini-football championship Azfar Business League of such format and scale was held for the first time in Azerbaijan and took place on the professional pitches of the AZFAR company, Trend Life reported.
The tournament was organized by ASEP (AZFAR SPORT EVENT & PROMOTION).
The autumn session of the championship aroused great interest in the country and was a great success. In an interview with Trend Life, ASEP General Director Andrey Sarichev talked about the project about future prospects of the championship.
Q.: Andrey Alexandrovich, tell us about the company ASEP, its main tasks and objectives.
A.: ASEP ... Many of my friends think that the name is related to my initials (laughs). In fact, this is not so. ASEP company was formed on the basis of AZFAR GROUP and is interpreted as AZFAR Sport Events & Promotion, the main activity of which is connected with the organization of sporting events. As you know, AZFAR GROUP has been successfully operating in the country for 8 years. It's the most advanced company in service of mini-football fields. This is evidenced not only by a large number of locations and fields - 15 locations and 30 fields, but also developed infrastructure and high-quality service. All this helped to attract a huge number of Azerbaijani youth in mini-football, making this sport popular and accessible for different layers and age groups. The development and popularization of mini-football, the development of new projects and ideas for people already involved in this sport, the creation of mechanisms to attract new fans in mini-football, is one of the fundamental activities.Part of the specific commitment to the overall development goals of the mini-football has been assigned to ASEP. But the main area activities include the organization of sporting events, the development of sports tourism and marketing, attraction of sports investment and, of course, the promotion of a healthy lifestyle.
Q.: What is the main purpose of Business League?
A.: Companies develop their success not only in the country's market, but also create good preconditions for the development of a healthy lifestyle of their employees. Many companies declared their representatives who had the honor to hold and raise company's social and sporting prestige. These are very good indicators that modern managers of companies pay special attention to the issue of sports performance and achievements. Employees of such companies are not only successful people with a constant income, they are also physically developed young people, and this is an excellent example for growing generation. When the philosophy of this championship was developed, we took this aspect as a basis, and one of the tasks set was to acquaint our society with the heroes of the corporate sector. We attracted leading experts from the IT sphere and specialists from the football field to the project, and in the tandem of these "monsters", based on the tasks set by us, the official website of the tournament www.abl.az was developed. Thanks to this site, every resident of the country can get acquainted with the kind of activity of the company participating in the championship. Thus, the heroes of the corporate sector have become popular and accessible to the general public, as shown by the statistics of visiting the site and the growing interest among fans. Proof of this is the interest of fans at different stages of the championship and a record number of fans in the final matches. This all confirmed the correctness of our approach to the issue of popularizing the corporate sector in sports life. We can confidently name the first participants of the Business League, the ambassadors of sports hopes and achievements, the agitation force of the sports movement of the country. And this message was made through a game of mini-football. We would like to express special gratitude to our information partners. Thanks to them, the championship was widely covered in the media. We were able to bring the amateur championship to a new high level.
Q.: To do something for the first time is always not only honorable and goes down in history, but also a huge responsibility. How did the participants evaluate the championship?
A.: Throughout the championship, we received letters from our teams, with recommendations requests, complaints. No complaints were left without attention. The Organizing Committee considered all complaints in the most timely manner and made fair decisions based on the rules of the championship regulations. As for the recommendations and requests, in the near future we plan to hold a technical meeting with the representatives of the teams, where the points of the regulations will be discussed, the introduction of new registration rules, disciplinary sanctions, refereeing, professional activities of the players and much more. Our main goal is to strengthen the status of the Business League, to attract new teams, to develop the culture of the corporate team, to adapt to the international rules of playing mini-football. Joint constructive work with the teams will give us excellent results and open new horizons for all participants of the Business League. The tournament showed that companies have a huge interest and potential in the development of corporate football clubs. The tournament has identified teams that can already be associated with clubs, whose approach meets certain standards. It will be pleasant to work with teams, and they will serve as a kind of example for other teams of the Business League and, of course, will attract new teams to the league. At the moment, several new corporate teams want to join spring session of the Business League. After the stage of negotiations, we will publish a list of new teams.
Q.: You often mention the notion of "new horizons". Are they connected to Azerbaijan Mini Football Association (AMFA)?
A.: Undoubtedly! AMFA will initiate the globalization of the mini-football movement in Azerbaijan, provide support and open its doors for everyone who wants to test their strength in this sport. Everyone will have the chance to become part of the Azerbaijani national team in mini- football. We plan very close cooperation with AMFA and in the near future memorandums of cooperation and intentions will be signed. If our leagues and championships are held under the auspices of the AA, then in addition to the status, support and licensing, our teams will open new horizons and opportunities. Unfortunately, during the championship of the autumn session one structure did not fulfill its obligations and with the appearance of the AMFA many necessary procedures for us as organizers will be simplified. I congratulate AMFA on starting activities.
Q.: The development of mini-football in Azerbaijan by ASEP has already reached the international level.
A.: Quite right! In early December, an international mini-football tournament was held in Baku among Russian teams and a specially invited team from Azerbaijan. In the tournament, there were ten teams and more than 500 fans. Our Russian partners highly appreciated the organization of this tournament, as evidenced by a letter of gratitude posted on the website www.asep.az. This tournament has laid the foundation for close cooperation with Russian partners. ASEP has already received an offer to organize the next tournament abroad. Speaking about Azerbaijan, I would like to emphasize that for a short period of our activity we were able to attract sponsors, enlisted the support of partners and official structures of our country.
Q.: Share further ASEP plans for the next year.
A.: ASEP team is young prospective specialists with experience in the sports, organizational, marketing, economic, planning, analytical and journalistic fields. It's nice to see how they are enthusiastically picking up ideas for new projects, embarking on the development and implementation of various stages of a project. Together with my team, the project of the Children's School of Football was developed, the implementation of which will begin on January 14, 2018. Those who want to know the details of this project can now familiarize themselves with the details of the Children's School of Football on the website www.asep.az. For children and parents there are special presentations detailing our differences from other existing children's schools. In the near future, an advertising campaign will begin to attract children to our school. Keep an eye on our announcements on radio,TV channels and in the media.
And, of course, I would like to separately highlight the draft of the Mini-football epidemic. Very soon, the newest ASEP project will be presented, aiming to attract a record number of teams and fans to the global mini-football championship held in Azerbaijan for the first time.
All our activities are aimed at promoting the sport lifestyle. Our main goal is to involve the general public in sports. We started our message through mini-football and this is not the limit for us. You will find a lot of interesting, a variety of sports events and competitions.
Taking this opportunity, I want to congratulate everyone on the World Azerbaijanis` Solidarity Day and the New Year. Wish all good health and new sports achievements!
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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