By Nigar Orujova
The Iraqi team became the winner of the first World Military Football Trophy championship of Conseil International du Sport Militaire (CISM) held in Azerbaijan's capital Baku on July 14.
Oman and Iraq vied for the cup at the Dalgha Arena stadium where the Iraqi team won with the score 3-2.
Thus, Oman ranked second at the championship, while the third place was claimed by Ivory Coast. The Azerbaijani team was fourth, after playing a match that was won by Ivory Coast with the 1-0 score.
The best teams of the CISM Trophy were awarded cups and medals. The Azerbaijani team received a prize for the "Fair game"; "The best shooter" cup and medal was presented to Iraqi footballer Hammadi Al-Daeeaa, while "The best footballer" award was presented to Oman footballer Abdulaziz Al Murtazi; "The best goalkeeper" cup and medal were conferred to Azerbaijani football player Aqil Mammadov and the "Fair game footballer" award was granted to Azerbaijan's Nodar Mammadov.
The closing ceremony of World Military Football Trophy, which brought together 16 teams from countries across the world, was held in Baku on July 15.
Azerbaijan's Defense Minister Safar Abiyev and CISM President Hamad Kalkaba attended the ceremony, which was held in Exercise and Education Center of the Armed Forces of Azerbaijan.
Speakers at the ceremony appreciated the high level of organization at the championship held in Baku.
The Azerbaijani team played well at the group stage matches where it defeated Mali, Canada and Iraq; in the 1/4 final Azerbaijan beat Bahrain, however, the luck turned away in the semi-final and during the game for the third place, where the national team lost to Omar and Ivory Coast.
According to the official website of the Trophy, the CISM president visited Azerbaijan and watched the competition.
"First of all, I have to mention the perfect work of the Azerbaijani representatives working with CISM as well as the well-organized opening ceremony and all the games of the 1st World Military Football Trophy championship held in Baku, I very much appreciated it..." Kalkaba said.
He noted that the Azerbaijani side has been working hard to organize the Military Football Trophy championship.
"The dynamic of the championship shows that the 1st World Military Football Trophy is well done."
According to Kalkaba, CISM is seeking to increase interest in football and make the sport popular among the military as well as to draw more participants and football fans.
Kalkaba said all the participants in the World Military Football Trophy are servicemen and "their main aim is to play football in the green football pitches and get support from the fans".
He also expressed willingness to hold the world military sport competitions in Azerbaijan in 2019.
"The next Olympic Games will be organized in your country in 2015 and infrastructure created for that event could be used in 2019 as well. Military sports are very important for CISM. 8,000 soldiers from 130 countries will be participating in such competitions," Kalkaba said, expressing hope that all of his aspirations would materialize.
Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry and the International Military Sports Council (IMSC) signed an agreement on holding the first World Military Cup in Baku in February.
The championship brought together teams from Brazil, the U.S., Canada, Algeria, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Oman, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Azerbaijan.
About 500 athletes and about a hundred delegates joined the championship, which was held on the newly reconstructed stadiums Shefa, Dalga Arena, Bayil and Zira.
An organizing committee established to deal with the preparations includes the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), the Youth and Sports Ministry and the Defense Ministry.
The World Military Cup is a football competition for national military teams organized by the IMSC. The tournament has been held since 1946 and was originally called the World Military Championship. The name changed for the 2001 edition. When the multi-sport Military World Games were set up in 1995 the football championship was incorporated into it, but it is still being held independently every two years.