Mr. Soghomonyan, two years ago, after the match dedicated to Khoren Oganesian’s 60th anniversary you did not rule out the possibility of another grand match in Yerevan. It seems that now your words are coming true and Armenia is expecting to host another football event. Is there any exact date? When will football stars come to Yerevan?
I said that Khoren Oganesian’s match will not be the last football event to be held in Armenia. You see, I really liked how people had been enjoying the event; the stadium was full of enthusiastic faces. Many people miss times when football was strong in Armenia. This year Russia will host the World Cup, and I use this chance to bring football back to Armenia. During the championship, Moscow will host a tournament of the best veteran footballers in the world. And, we decided to invite many of them to Armenia. Yerevan will host a match of world football stars between South America and Europe on July 8.
As you know, Europe and South America won almost equal number of world titles. Now, thanks to Germany's victory, the Europeans are ahead. However, Americans always win in their territory, with one exception. So, we want to understand who will be stronger in Armenia and we will get an answer on July 8 in Yerevan.
I can’t wait to see who will come to Armenia.
Many stars from America have never been to Armenia. Their squads have never faced Armenia Ivan Zamorano was on Khoren Oganesian’s birthday and he was delighted and said that he would be offended if this time he was not invited. By the way, Hristo Stoichkov and Jari Litmanen also said that they would like to fly to Armenia once again. Previously, the following players from the Latin American team agreed to participate in the match: Cafu, Rivaldo, Zanetti and Crespo. Negotiations with Batistuta are underway. The European team will be represented by Maldini, Totti, Djorkaeff, Abidal, Albertini, Julie, Shevchenko, Dessai and other stars. And, one more thing, one of the most famous football referees, Massimo Busacca, who heads the FIFA refereeing department now, will officiate the match. Last year he was in Armenia and he wants to come back.
The match dedicated to Khoren Oganesian’s anniversary was charitable. Will this game be also a charity?
Yes, of course. Our position in organizing such events is unambiguous. All profits from ticket sales will go to charity, besides this match is a kind of tribute to the veterans.
Will the ticket price be affordable for football fans?
Yes, of course. This event should be not only a spectacle, but also beneficial for people. I hope the idea will inspire many, and sponsors from Armenia and abroad will express desire to participate in this event. We will be glad and grateful to all.
Now we are in touch with the representatives of FIFA and different countries’ federations. And, of course, we cooperate with the Armenian Football Federation and Ruben Hayrapetyan. We hope that together we can organize a big football event.
We also plan to hold a youth tournament in Armenia. Now we are negotiating with Chelsea, Milan and Inter, so that their students could come to Armenia. This will also be a big step for the development of children and youth football in Armenia.
Will the players have time to visit sites in Armenia to get to know the Armenian culture?
Their schedule will be quite heavy, but we will do our best to introduce them to our culture. Three years ago almost all the stars visited Etchmiadzin, laid flowers at the Armenian Genocide Memorial Complex. Many of them were very impressed by Armenia.
The European squads used to win in Europe, while American national teams achieved victory in South America. Who do you think will win in Armenia?
We took the player selection process very seriously. Almost all the players are in the best shape. Some of them have recently retired. Therefore, we are expecting a very interesting game. It is too early to say who will be stronger, but I believe that we will witness a beautiful game. I haven’t seen such a large-scale football event in Armenia before. And, I really hope and believe that this event will not be the last.
Thank you very much. We are looking forward for the football event.