BAKU: Azerbaijan’s preparation for this year’s Women’s Under-17 World Cup later this year has attracted words of praise from FIFA’s leaders – which is more than can be said for the Brazilian who host the senior men’s finals in 2014.
The finals will be staged from September 22 to October 13 with the final set for the capital, Baku, which is also bidding to host the 2020 Olympic Games.
FIFA president Sepp Blatter said: “We are very pleased with the work but I had no doubts because of what is being done to promote sports and in particular football in Azerbaijan. If all countries wishing to host world championships would work like Azerbaijan then FIFA would never face any organisational problems.
“We are also very pleased with the proposed socio-cultural projects. The fact that the Azeri federation has invited parents of future hopeful players as well as teams of other ages from these countries will make the championship even more colorful and interesting. These and other ideas of yours make us happy. We look forward to the tournament to see the realization of all these projects. Hosting the World Cup among girls in this region with such cultural activities will encourage the development of women’s football around the world.
“In any case, men’s football will also develop too because this championship will be a strong incentive for men”
Recently state President Ilham Aliyev declared 2012 as the country’s Year of Sports.