By Amina Nazarli
Baku is preparing to host the 4th Chovgan Azerbaijan Championship on October 16.
The game will take place at Baku’s Bina Equestrian Center at 16:00.
A press conference and the drawing ceremony for the event took place at the “Sarhadchi” Olympic Sport Center.
Secretary General of the Azerbaijan Equestrian Federation, Bahruz Nabiyev, addressed the press conference, stating that the ancient national game of chovgan is still popular in the country, adding that the Federation pays special attention to hosting such kind of events.
Expressing his confidence that the 4th championship will also be held at a high level, Nabiyev said that many measures be taken in the future to develop this sport in the country.
A total of 24 teams from the country’s various regions will compete at the event to last until October 24.
The teams are following: “Sarhadchi”, “Kovsar”, “Agstafa”, “Agdam”, “Sheki”, “Agjabedi”, “Lachin”, “Polad”, “Balakan”, “Zagatala”, “Gakh”, “Oguz”, “Ismayilli”, Yevlah”, “Barda”, “Goranboy”, “Goygol”, “Gazakh”, “Tovuz”, “Dashkasan”, “Gabala”, “Khachmaz”, “Batabat” and “Elit.”
On the first day of the competition, some four teams will compete for the best title. According to the results of the drawing ceremony teams “Yevlakh” and “Goygol” will first take to the field at 17:00, followed by “Batabat”,“Gabala-Vandam”, “Barda”-“Shamakhi” and “Arzu” “Gabala.”
The total prize of the competition is 50,000 manats (about $48,000).
Chovgan dates back to the middle of the first millennium A.D. as a team game. It has been very popular for centuries both in Azerbaijan and Central Asia. Fragments of the game were portrayed from time to time in ancient miniatures, and detailed descriptions and rules of the game were also reflected in ancient manuscripts.
The game is the original form of the polo sporting game that dates back thousands of years. It is still played in Azerbaijan. It worth noting that this ancient game has been included in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO during the 8th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, which was held in Baku in 2014.