Interview with the Head of Sports Department of Ministry of Youth and Sports.
- Farid, you’re an Olympic champion in Greco-Roman wrestling. You have the knowledge of how championships are held all over the world. What is your opinion on the massive projects to be held in Azerbaijan?
- I’ve been in the sporting sphere for years – first as an athlete and now as a official partner. It is true that I’ve been to a lot of countries and seen a lot of sporting events: the Olympics, Europe and World Championships, and whatever country hosts them has to be fully ready. Similarly, Azerbaijan is ready to host any type of events.
There are numerous examples to that – U17, Eurovision, The Chess Olympics, European Games, and Formula 1. During the European Games we showed the world our ability, our culture, our music, our sport and its ethics. All of this can be seen as our nation’s success. These Games had Europe in Baku, tourists, sport professionals, athletes – all of them admired Azerbaijan.
- You competed in many other countries and cities; what were things you liked and disliked the most?
- To be honest, there were times when we went to participate in the championship, stepped on the ring, and then, besides our trainers, no one cared about us.
It’s completely different here. We’re a very hospitable nation; we respect and pay a lot of attention to people from other countries– tourists or international athletes. They like our country.
- There’s not much time left until the 4th Islamic Games! As a professional in sports, what are your thoughts on how this competition will go?
- They will be held on a high level. The Organizing Committee is in charge of that; plus, the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the Federation, and the sporting community are readying themselves for the Islamic Games. As you know, 20 sports will be represented, as well as blind judo and two disciplines in para athletics, which brings the number of disciplines to 23. There will be 16 venues, and 279 medals up for grabs. Muslim nations will take part in the Islamic Games, and the world will witness their solidarity. This is very important… Journalists and athletes alike do their best for their country.
- You used to take part in Greco-Roman wrestling. Which results do you expect from our wrestlers? Will they achieve great results?
- Wrestling is a historical sport, it represents our ancient traditions. The wrestlers’ results are clear to see. Obviously, their trainer should give you a better answer. An athlete can lose even at his peak, since every second counts. Still, I believe we’ll see great results from wrestling, judo, boxing and other sports.