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Abdullayev re-elected in Azerbaijan

Rovnag Abdullayev is looking forward to the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan staging major games after being elected for a third term as president.

AFFA president Rovnag Abdullayev
AFFA president Rovnag Abdullayev ©AFFA

Rovnag Abdullayev will serve his third term as president of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), following his re-election at the association's ordinary conference in Baku.

Under Abdullayev, who was first elected in 2008 and then re-elected in 2012, football in Azerbaijan has flourished, with the national team reaching its highest-ever position in the FIFA rankings: 83rd. Three Azerbaijani clubs – Neftçi, Qarabağ (twice) and Qäbälä – have also reached the UEFA Europa League group stage during that period.

Baku has been selected as one of the UEFA EURO 2020 host cities, and will host three group games and one quarter-final. Azerbaijan is also preparing to stage this year's UEFA European Under-17 Championship final tournament from 5 to 21 May.

"The Under-17 finals in Baku will be a huge experience and a test for us before UEFA EURO 2020," said Abdullayev. "Everything should be organised to the highest standard. We are making a great effort to develop regional football as well. Many competitions are being arranged, and new player generations are coming through in Azerbaijan."

Nakhchivan-born Abdullayev studied civil engineering in Moscow, and worked his way up to become a major figure in Azerbaijan's oil industry, as well as a member of Azerbaijan's parliament.