As the host of the European Weightlifting Championships 2023, the Armenian Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport is seriously concerned about the incident with the national flag of the Republic of Azerbaijan during the opening ceremony of the championship on April 14.
“The incident, which was immediately resolved during the ceremony and in no way interfered with the natural course of events, does not reflect the position of the Republic of Armenia authorities and deserves to be condemned in terms of sports values and universal principles of fair play,” the Ministry said in a statement.
“At the same time, we regret the decision of the Azerbaijani team to leave the championship and add that there were no security problems, because the Government of the Republic of Armenia initially provided and continues to provide all security standards for delegations participating in the championship. The Government was committed to earlier commitments to provide additional security measures for Azerbaijani athletes. The evidence of this is that for almost two days the Azerbaijani athletes were safe in Armenia, and following the decision to leave the championship, the relevant services ensured their safe departure,” the Ministry emphasized.
“In preparation for this championship, the Republic of Armenia has carried out large-scale work and significant investments. The conditions of accommodation, training, competition, technical support, television coverage, and the unprecedented opening ceremony received the highest appraisal from our international partners. According to numerous protocols, the European Championship, held in Armenia, by its organization can confidently compete with the organization of the world championships. We are sure that after the tournament, we will be able to state that Armenia can apply for the organization of larger tournaments, including the World Cup,” the Ministry for Sport said.