Baku, June 23 AZERTAC
A daily press conference has been held here with participation of Baku 2015 Chief operating officer Simon Clegg Azerbaijan beach soccer coach Jose Miguel Mateus (POR) and player Emin Kurdov FIFA's Joan Cusco.
Simon Clegg on the number of spectators: "I was delighted that we had a total of more than 19,000 people go through the turnstiles and have their tickets scanned at track and field athletics yesterday."
"In total we had 36,416 spectators across 14 sessions at seven different venues. And yesterday we averaged 81 per cent attendance across all the venues."
On the weather forecast:
"The weather continues to be warm and good. My forecast is predicting 34C tomorrow, not 37C as we said yesterday."
"Northerly direction winds will be 28km an hour, gusting to 46km an hour, and we don’t anticipate that will provide us with any deeper challenges."
On the number of athletes that have been taken out of competition due to bad behaviour or rule violations:
"We had one athlete (Rexhildo ZENELI, ALB) who was sent home before competition as the result of a positive drugs test. That’s in the public domain. But outside of that, competition has continued as expected. If I understand the question correctly, no athletes have been taken out of competition for 'bad behaviour'."
On whether the closing ceremony will be a 'carnival' and how it will compare to the opening ceremony:
"Traditionally the closing ceremony has a different feel to the opening ceremony and that will certainly be the case here. This will be a celebration of the inaugural European Games, the achievements of the athletes and the coming together of all 50 European countries in this wonderful sporting enterprise."
"So you can expect a 'carnival' atmosphere at the closing ceremony, and in the city as people will also have the opportunity to see the ceremony take place in big screens on the boulevard."
"In terms of comparing the closing ceremony with the opening ceremony, I’m afraid I am not in any position to give you any particular details today because it’s a closely guarded secret. But I can tell you it will be spectacular in its own way, and the feel of the event will be totally different to the opening ceremony."
On the standard of broadcasting at Baku 2015 and its importance in determining the future of the European Games:
"I'm not sure that the future of the European Games depends on broadcasting. It depends on having the best athletes in Europe attend the Games. And I am confident we will have the best athletes at the Games in 2019."
Joan CUSCO FIFA board member and vice-president of Beach Soccer Worldwide said on the importance of Baku 2015 for beach soccer:
"When I saw the Azeri team and the Swiss team being part of the opening ceremony it was a special feeling for us in beach soccer. It was a very historic moment."
"This is a fantastic opportunity for us. It is something very unique."
"Our sport is very young. We were born in 1993 and only in 2004 did we join FIFA as an official sport. We are preparing our best here. There are no better teams, there is no better Games. I’m sure we’re going to deliver a great show. The stadium is sold out for several days." "It’s the best stadium we have ever played in. We want to showcase the sport at its best. We want to gain new fans, new Games, new teams, new divisions, new sponsors, new everything. We are a very young sport. We want to show the amazing skills that our players have."
Emin Kurdov team captain from Azerbaijan said: "The mood in the team is good. Azerbaijani athletes have more than 30 medals (at Baku 2015), which is a great achievement, and we are hoping that we can also win medals in team sports. We will be doing our best to be in the top three, and I believe we will be able to succeed."