First-ever Nagorno Karabakh football league set to kick off 1 August

First-ever Nagornyy Karabakh football league set to kick off 1 August

31 Jul 04


The Nagornyy Karabakh Republic will start to have its own open
football league on 1 August.

Ayk Dzhavadyan, vice-president of the Artsakh Armenian name for
Karabakh Football Federation, which was registered recently, announced
this at a press conference in Stepanakert capital of Nagornyy Karabakh
today. He said that in Soviet times Nagornyy Karabakh football had
been represented by the “Karabakh” team which had been successful
enough to get into the USSR’s 2nd league division. Football was a
popular and well-liked game in Karabakh but football life in the
republic had died because of the armed conflict with Azerbaijan up
until 1994. From 1994-95 several Karabakh teams had had to join the
Armenian leagues. And so from 1 August Karabakh will have its own
league, Ayk Dzhavadyan said.

He announced that having the league was possible thanks to the active
cooperation of Arkadiy Gukasyan, president of the republic, and the
Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, as well as from the US
entrepreneur and philanthropist Grach Kaprielian, who is also the
president of the Artsakhk Football Federation.

Ayk Dzhavadyan also said that in the last 2-3 years 500,000 US dollars
had been invested in developing football in Karabakh. “The Nagornyy
Karabakh Republic’s football league is aimed not only at reviving the
best traditions of Karabakh football, improving the physical health of
the population and providing means for practising this sport, which is
popular throughout the world, but also at contributing towards the
coming into being and strengthening of our state and helping the
international recognition of the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic. We also
hope to set up close ties and cooperation with teams from other
countries,” Ayk Dzhavadyan noted.

Nine teams will take part in the league which will be run along
European lines. The teams are from Stepanakert and all regions of
Nagornyy Karabakh, as well as one team from the town of Goris in the
Republic of Armenia. The Nagornyy Karabakh Republic’s championship
league will end in the middle of November. The winners will receive
medals, certificates and prizes.