Football in Azerbaijan

Football in Azerbaijan

Football is the most popular sport in Azerbaijan, a country that gained its independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Azeri football is organized by Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan, or AFFA, which runs the national, professional football league, the AFFA Supreme League, and the Azerbaijani national football team.

The national team takes part in all competitions organised by FIFA and UEFA at both senior and youth levels. Neftchi Baku used to be one of the leading teams in the former top league in the Soviet Union, sometimes playing in European club competitions. Their most famous player arguably was Anatoly Banishevski, who was also a member of the Soviet team that reached the semi-finals in the 1966 FIFA World Cup. Another Azebaijani footballing legend is also part of football history: Tofik Bakhramov was the linesman who played a crucial role in the 1966 World Cup Final between England and West Germany.

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