“They play their home games 440km away in the capital Baku, but despite being uprooted, the club remains a great source of pride for Azerbaijan with most of the national team being made up of Qarabag players,” says an article titled “Pride of Azerbaijan, Qarabag take a step into unknown” on “The New York Times”.
The article draws attention to the fact that the hometown of Qarabag football team was destroyed as a result of bombing by forces from neighboring Armenia in the fierce Nagorno-Karabakh War of the 1980s and 1990s and their Imarat Stadium is reduced to rubble.
A special importance is also attached to club’s head of communications Nurlan Ibrahimov’s thoughts previously published on Daily Telegraph:
“This club means everything to the people of Azerbaijan. Our lands are being occupied. It’s through success with Qarabag that we bring that to the attention of the world.”
Antoni Conte, the Chelsea manager who once played against Azerbaijan while in charge of Italy stressed that Qarabag FC is a good team.
“I know a lot about their players, because I played against Azerbaijan in qualifying when I was the Italy coach. They have a lot of players who play for the national team”, the Italian said.
“The Sun” portal illuminated the significant details about the upcoming Chelsea -Qarabag match and the background history of the team.
According to the material published in the portal, the Nagorno-Karabakh region is under the control of Armenia, and Qarabag’s home city of Agdam was completely destroyed in the war.
“Therefore, since 1994, Qarabag have played in the capital of Azerbaijan, Baku.”
Furthermore, additional information for British citizens willing to visit Azerbaijan and the conditions of Tofig Bahramov Stadium was published.
Notably, English Premiership champion Chelsea will host their Azerbaijani counterparts Qarabag FC in a UEFA Champions League Group C match on Tuesday evening.
"Karabakh" is the first Azerbaijani team qualifying UEFA Champions League.