Azerbaijan to host Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017
By Nigar Orujova
The eighth elective general assembly of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation (ISSF) in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia has decided to hold the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Azerbaijan in 2017, the Azerbaijani National Olympic Committee said on July 24.
The ISSF member states voted for holding the Islamic Solidarity Games 2017 in Azerbaijan at the Assembly.
The Azerbaijani capital put forward its bid to host the tournament in February. The tournament is due from June 23 to July 2, 2017.
A presentation about Azerbaijan was made during the General Assembly by Vice President of NOC and ISSF Chingiz Huseynzade, head of the international relations department and executive director of the organizing committee of the Islamic Solidarity Games Baku-2017, Kenul Nurullayeva, and NOC expert on international programs and member of the working group of the Islamic Solidarity Games Mehman Kerimov, according to the NOC.
As part of the General Assembly the "Baku-2017" book was presented. The book includes sections on the concept of the Games, a review of the political and economic situation, legal aspects, customs and immigration aspects, information about the environment and meteorology, finance, marketing, communications, sports facilities and competitions, residential areas, transportation, security, medical services and doping control.
A special video on the Islamic games was demonstrated to the participants and relevant booklets were distributed.
New staff of the ISSF for 2013-2017 was also determined during the event. Thus, Chingiz Huseynzade was re-elected as a vice-president of the organization for the next four years.
Kenul Nurullayeva became a member of the executive committee. This landmark decision on the membership of a woman in the ISSF executive committee was made for the first time since 1968, on the basis of structural changes.
Azerbaijan became the only country represented in the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation by two representatives.
Moreover, it was decided to hold the General Assembly of the ISSF in Baku in 2015.
In May in Baku, ISSF Secretary General Faisal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Nassar said that the evaluation commission for the Games believes that Baku has all the suitable conditions for hosting the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in 2017.
The Games, which will bring together athletes from 57 countries, will be held under the slogan "Solidarity is our power". More than 160 Azerbaijani sportsmen will participate in the Games. The Muslim religion of all athletes is not a pre-condition for participation in the competition.
The Islamic Solidarity Games is a multinational, multi-sport event involving the elite athletes of the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which is the second largest inter-governmental organization after the UN with 57 member states spread over four continents.
The first of the ISG tournaments was held in 2005 in Saudi Arabia with an Olympic-style tournament aimed at showing Muslim sports prowess and featuring 6,000 athletes.
Azerbaijan gained four gold, four silver and seven bronze medals at the first ISG, thus becoming the eighth country in the medal table.
The second event, originally scheduled to take place in October 2009 in Iran, and later re-scheduled for April 2010, was cancelled after a dispute emerged between Iran and the Arab countries. The third Games will be held in Indonesia this year.