Azerbaijani Sports Journalists have today gathered for a Republican meeting at the Boulevard Hotel.

Representatives of sports media, press secretaries of sports organizations, and veteran journalists attended the event organized by the Azerbaijan Sports Journalists Federation (AIFF), Report informs.

AIFF Chairman Gabil Mehdiyev opened the meeting with a welcoming speech. Pointing out that sports media has been left beyond general funding, Mehdiyev pledged they would try to change this mindset. The chairman added the Board would hold various seminars and writing competitions to promote sports journalism.

Speaking on behalf of veteran journalists, Ogtay Bayramov stressed that young reporters successfully continue the tradition of sports journalism in Azerbaijan. He expressed hope that this tendency would be further strengthened.

Then, the sports journalists who died were commemorated with a minute’s silence.

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Dan Mason, the Head of Sports Journalism Master’s Program at Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Training and Sports, who attended the event as an honorary guest, expressed readiness to provide the necessary support for the development of sports media.

Following speeches, the event participants began discussions of the issues of concern to the media and voiced different proposals.

Aydin Bagirov, Editor-in-Chief of Gol.az, mentioned that sports media face financial problems amid the economic growth in Azerbaijan. Highlighting that no free advertising market is available for media self-financing and income generation, Bagirov underlined the need to adopt the State Program for the development of sports journalism. He proposed celebrating February 20 as the Day of Sports Journalists of Azerbaijan.

Elchin Jalilov, Editor-in-Chief of Futbolpress.az, stressed the importance of creating conditions for e-media and providing offices to sports sites.

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Jeyhun Aliyev, Chief of Sport24.az, suggested attestation of sports correspondents and revision of accreditation-related issues.

Vugar Vugarli, a representative of Atv.az, drew attention to a small number of non-football reporters. He emphasized that no federation, except AFFA, organizes training for the press.

Kenan Hakimov, Head of the ITTV sports department, Press secretary of the Azerbaijan Badminton and Fencing Federations, called the meeting of about 100 sports media representatives a great success. He considered it necessary to arrange press seminars and language courses on the eve of Euro 2020 matches.

Addressing the event, Aslan Shahgeldiyev, Head of the Professional Football League’s Press and Public Relations Department, said that though nearly 250 media representatives are accredited in the organization to cover the championship matches, only a few of them can be seen in stadiums.

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AIFF chairman and Board members emphasized, commenting on the proposals, that appropriate steps would be taken to resolve the issues.