By Amina Nazarli
Some 50 countries have already confirmed their participation in the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games to be held in Baku in May 2017.
Youth and Sport Minister Azad Rahimov made the remark during the Chef de Missions Seminar held in Baku on December 8.
"Less than five months left to the Islamic Games in Baku. In general, preparations are underway. We are working in accordance with the plan and meet deadlines. Delegations were pleased by what they saw in Baku. We would like to see in the capital athletes from all the 57 countries on May 12, but only 50 of them have confirmed their participation so far,” he said.
Rahimov further noted that the Baku Islamic Games will have eight main sponsors.
The minister mentioned that compared to the 1st European Games, organized in Baku, where about 500 foreign experts worked, the Islamic Games will involve more local specialists.
Commenting on the number of participants in the Games, Secretary General of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation Faisal Bin Abdulaziz Al-Nassar said the 4th Islamic Solidarity Games will see a record number of the participants.
He said sport venues in Azerbaijan are fully ready for the competitions, further hailing the country’s experience in hosting international sporting events.
He expressed confidence that the Games will be excellently delivered.
The decision to hold the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku was made at the eighth General Assembly of the ISSF in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in July 2013.
The official opening ceremony and closing of the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games will be held at the Baku Olympic Stadium.
More than 160 Azerbaijani sportsmen are expected to participate in the Games under the slogan “Solidarity is our power”.
The Muslim religion of all athletes is not a pre-condition for participation in the competition.