Azerbaijan declines friendly football match with Argentina
The Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA) has refused to hold a friendly match between the national teams of Azerbaijan and Argentina in Baku.
Agents of Argentina’s national team expressed their wishes to hold a friendly match before their game against the Russian national team which is scheduled for 11 November, and appealed to the AFFA to bring their national team to Baku.
The AFFA, however, decided not to hold the match. The association apparently came to this decision due to the amount of time available to prepare for a match against the two-time world champions.
A friendly match with teams such as Argentina also usually requires a substantial fee. For example, in 2009, the Azerbaijani side paid 700 000 euros for the Spanish national team to come to Baku. The game ended with the Azerbaijani team being completely defeated with a score of 0:6.
The AFFA has not commented on its decision. Commentators of the agency azerisport.com hold the opinion that the AFFA thought about the footballers in the Karabakh club which makes up the core of the Azerbaijani national team, and also have important matches in November in the Champions League of Europe.
Football fans greeted this news in different ways, with many of them reacting to the Federation’s decision with understanding. However, many were also critical and two of the typical comments appearing on Facebook:
“This was a unique opportunity for football fans to see Leo Messi live. It’s unfortunate that the AFFA puts the interests of fans last.”
“Paying to have 5-7 goals pushed past you – that’s a special kind of masochism.”