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By Vera Martirosyan

PARIS. – Armenian News-NEWS.am reporter Vera Martirosyan, who is in Paris covering the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2016 which France is hosting, spoke with Russian-Armenian sports journalist Nobel Arustamyan. Below is an abridged version of this interview.

Nobel, what are your impressions from the first four days?

The most pleasant. I’ve always liked France. I can say that I like the tournament—the organization, the atmosphere. (…) it seems to me that the interest in the tournament is growing by the day (…).

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Did you have any fears due to the terrorist acts?

(…) I, too, have certainly thought about that, and was worried that there may be incidents (…). [But] I believe in the French police; I believe that everything will be fine.  

What do you think about the change in the tournament system? 

(…) it turned out that as a result, even Romania, which seemed to be a team that is on another level, fought against France, and it almost drew level. That’s why, in my view, such intense games are an advantage to the tournament, [and] to the skeptics who were not happy with the format. (…) at any rate, the third round will be interesting because some of the third-place teams make it to the playoffs.

To be honest, I hoped that Armenia would come here, but maybe this will be in four years. (…) the tournament will show to what extent the UEFA was right. (…) but so far, there are no apparent prerequisites for pessimism.

You usually make good predictions.

Quite the contrary. But I believe that everything is more or less clear. France, Germany, Spain, [and] Belgium are the clear favorites; England and Italy [also] could ‘shoot.’ (…) but, probably, there will not be surprises at the level of Greece [several years ago].

UCOM company is the main sponsor of the Armenian News-NEWS.am coverage of Euro 2016.

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