Azerbaijani leader, FIFA president lay Olympic stadium foundation

Mon 06 Jun 2011 07:58 GMT | 11:58 Local Time

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President Aliyev and FIFA and UEFA presidents Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have attended the ground-breaking ceremony for a new stadium in Baku.

The 65,000-seat Olympic stadium is to be built on reclaimed land at Boyuk Shor, just beyond the Azizbayov metro station in Baku.

It is due to be completed in 2015.

Addressing the ceremony, President Ilham Aliyev said that the gorgeous new stadium would cover an area of 120,830 square metres and seat 65,000 spectators. With a modern design, the stadium will meet FIFA's and UEFA's highest technical recommendations. It will also have a running track and multi-functional stands.

The head of state placed a metal capsule inside a football which was kicked into a symbolic goal in the foundations by his son, Heydar Aliyev.

Ilham Aliyev, Michel Platini and Sepp Blatter signed a commemorative ball at the event.

Football centre

The presidents of football's European and world governing bodies also attended the opening of a new stadium and football centre in the Baku suburban village of Mardakan on Monday.

FIFA President Sepp Blatter, UEFA President Michel Platini and AFFA President Rovnag Abdullayev all cut the red ribbon at the Dalga Arena.

The officials went onto the pitch where they met young players and balloons with the FIFA, UEFA and AFFA logos were released.

The visitors commented favourably on the condition of the pitch.

Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini will attend celebrations this evening to mark the centenary of football in Azerbaijan.

Elmir Aliyev



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