Dear fellow citizens,
Dear athletes and coaches,
Dear football fans,
Today we are witnessing a significant and important event in Artsakh; we are hosting the Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) European Football Cup.
A wealth of guests from different countries, and among them government officials, has arrived in Artsakh. I would like to take this opportunity to welcome fraternal South Ossetian- Republic - the State of Alania President Anatoly Bibilov, CONIFA Global President Per Anders Blind, CONIFA Europe President Alberto Rischio, and extend a warm welcome to all our guests here with us. It is an honor for us to share our hospitality with you in Artsakh.
Artsakh is hosting such an international sporting event for the first time, and to keep up to the standard rigorous and hard work was put in over those days.
I would like to voice my appreciation to the organizers of the Confederation of Independent Football Associations European Football Cup, the masterminds behind, to all those who had their finger in the pie and were instrumental in holding this truly beautiful and significant sporting event. And I really hope both the athletes and the football fans will enjoy the games and make the most of this event.
Sport, in general, and football, in particular, is among the fields of exceptional importance, which should have the power to unite peoples, enhance friendship and mutual respect among them, help build ties, and it is in this unity and partnership that the great power of football, the power of its humanistic principles, lies.
Sport knows neither boundaries nor constraints; it bends neither to discrimination nor to double standards. It is a symbol of peace, where the spirit of fair game reigns and the winners are usually those who are better trained.
With its long-standing tradition, football has always been of particular relevance in Artsakh. For many of us our best athletes have always been a source of inspiration, and the youth followed their footsteps.
I really hope this football tournament will bring out new faces in football who will set an example for the coming generation and will bring all of us many truly beautiful and memorable instants, happy and spectacular moments, turning this tournament into a true feast of football.
I wish every success to all of you, each and every one! Let the strongest win!
Stepanakert, June 1, 2019.