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Record crowd at Azerbaijan's U17 EURO opener

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was among the 33,000 crowd – a record for any UEFA U17 and U19 fixture – that watched the hosts take on Portugal in their first game of the finals.

Azerbaijan supporters were there in numbers to cheer on their team
Azerbaijan supporters were there in numbers to cheer on their team ©Sportsfile

Fans turned up at Baku Olympic Stadium in droves for Azerbaijan's first match of the 2016 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, setting a competition record attendance of 33,000.

The figure is the biggest for any UEFA youth fixture since the inaugural U17 and U19 seasons in 2001/02 and easily eclipses the previous high for this tournament, the 24,000 who watched the 2009 final between the Netherlands and Germany in Magdeburg.

Elkhan Mammadov, general secretary of the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), told UEFA.com: "It was a very important day for us. Though our team lost, the fans – the 33,000 who came to offer their support – were the winners because they made history. I would like to express my appreciation to each and every person who was at the stadium."

Highlights: Azerbaijan 0-5 Portugal
Highlights: Azerbaijan 0-5 Portugal

Claudio Negroni, senior U21 & youth competitions manager at UEFA, added: "It's fantastic for a U17 match and I hope this inspires other hosts to beat it in future."

Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev was among the spectators as the hosts fell behind inside four minutes, going on to suffer a 5-0 defeat in their debut U17 finals game. Azerbaijan are next in Group A action on Sunday against Belgium at the 8km Stadium.

©Sportsfile
©Sportsfile
©Sportsfile
©Sportsfile
©Sportsfile
©Sportsfile