The CONIFA Sportsbet.io European Football Cup 2019 is set to begin its footballing action today. Prior to yesterday’s dazzling opening ceremony in Stepanakert, the official opening press conference for the tournament was held.
The press conference took place at the new, dedicated media centre in Stepanakert, which will give the press an ideal base from which to report. The assembled press put questions to representatives of CONIFA and the Artsakh government.
CONIFA President Per-Anders Blind described it as a “huge honour” to be in Artsakh. “We are really amazed by the welcome we have received. This week, we are here to celebrate our members and the beauty of Artsakh.”
Grigori Martirosyan, the State Minister for the Republic of Artsakh expressed his happiness that his country was hosting its “first large-scale event”. He said that he and his government were doing all they could to make sure that the tournament was as enjoyable as possible for the people of Artsakh and for the many guests who have travelled out to the south Caucasus to follow the event.
The Minister of Education, Science and Sport, Narine Aghabalyan, described how Artsakh had “built bridges” with other member teams during the organisation of the tournament over recent months. “I think this is the mission of CONIFA – to create friendships.”
CONIFA’s Europe President, Alberto Rischio, and Sascha Duerköp, the General Secretary also offered their thoughts to the assembled press. Duerköp reiterated the CONIFA philosophy, saying that “politics should never be used to exclude people from sport”. He also commented that the organisation had been asked to cancel the tournament, but never considered doing so. “We are happy to discuss and have open relations with anyone”, but he said the organisation would not bow to pressure.
With more than 100 journalists having been accredited for the tournament, there will be no shortage of coverage of events in Artsakh around the world. CONIFA will be providing daily coverage on our website and through our social media channels, whilst the games will be streamed by our streaming partner Mycujoo – watch here.