“Georgian Football Fans League” demands holding special elections of Georgian Football Federation and starts to make effective steps in order to achieve this goal. Tato Laskhishvili, one of the founders of “Fans League”, Zurab Petriashvili, president of this organization, executive director Davit Ugrekhelidze and vice-president Gia Giligashvili stated about it at the office of “RIA Novosti” on Wednesday.
Tato Laskhishvili: “On February 15 it has been 23 years since founding congress of Georgian Football Federation was held at Chess Palace and Georgian football broke away from the Soviet Union. Unfortunately, we have to talk about problems of Georgian football nowadays. Even not to say anything about the competition of clubs and team in international arena, there is low level at the national championship. Football has died in regions. Georgian football has crisis. Active action is required”.
After Laskhishvili, Zurab Petriashvili made his speech. He read the statement of “Georgian Football Fans League”:
“Those people who fought for the independence of Georgian football in 1990 formed “Georgian Football Fans League”.
23 years ago when we made responsible decision for the nation, we thought about great victory but unfortunately, we have regress now. If it goes on, it will be fatal for Georgian football. During 23 years of the independence, there were episodic victories of Georgian national and different age teams. But they were only just episodic.
Our football universe waits for solving main problems. Nodar Akhalkatsi (junior), former president of GFF, brought fatal results to our football. He was appointed as a president twice – in 2005 and 2007 by the National Movement. In this period a lot of money was invested in Georgian football by the government. This money was spent on foreign coaches with dubious reputation. A lot of stadiums were lost and alienated during the same period.
In 2009 Domenti Sichinava, new favorite of the National Movement, was appointed as a president of GFF. He continued weak and unsuccessful work of Akhalkatsi. All problems of our football are not still solved.
During the government of the National Movement it was impossible to protest against their favorites.
Today when we have public government which states that violence, disorder and inequality must end up, we hope we will have a chance to hold free special presidential elections in football. We hope, legitimate president will run Georgian football and it will start to move forward”.
Petriashvili remembered the past of the independent Georgian football and evaluated the current situation:
“We started fighting for the independence of Georgian football in 1990. February 15 is an independent day. Our famous veterans were against of holding independent championship. Thy wanted “Dinamo” Tbilisi to play at the Soviet Union Championship and in this case the Georgian team would not have played against France and Holland. We achieved independence of Georgian football at Chess Palace. Then, the Georgian football went different way and its championship is like the Soviet one. When Nodar Akhalkatsi was a president, Gia Giligashvili and I worked for Competition Committee and we left it after the violation of the regulations by the federation.
In 1998 Merab Jordania was elected as a president of Georgian Football Federation. The Georgian football was in better situation then. He was a football player. In 2005 “Fans League” put my candidature as a president of the federation. Then, Giorgi Nemsadze and I united. Finally, Gutsaev, Nemsadze, Arveladze and Akhalkatsi were presidential candidates. Gutsaev was made to refuse participation in the elections. In the end, Nemsadze also refused.
In 2007 Akhalkatsi lost and congratulated Nemsadze on victory. Nemsadze resigned in an hour. Giorgi Gabashvili and Mikheil Saakashvili dismissed him. In that period “Fans League” was the only organization which fought till the end. I do not understand what Mirca Sandu, president of Romanian Football Federation, who was an observer at the elections, told Platini about the elections. I left the federation for the second time and told delegates not to participate in new elections. I told Mamuka Kvaratskhelia to leave Akhalkatsi alone but he did not do it.
When Domenti Sichinava became president of GFF, it was dramatic for “Fans League”. I supported Sichinava and Dato Ugrekhelidze was against him. I published a letter in support of Sichinava in “World Sport”. I expected this man to do something good in regions”.
Davit Ugrekhelidze: “During this period, investors lost faith toward Georgian football. We have taken responsibility for Georgian football. We did not have ambition and stood aside. Now we will do our best to bring faith back to Georgian football. Professionals must run GFF.
Recently, Sichinava has done preventions and states if the state interferes in the activities of the federation, FIFA and UEFA will punish us. Football was politicized. Everybody knows which governmental clan ruled him. Let us remember last championship which was held by the system of Nika Gilauri. The championship was not interesting after the first stage. Last year 70 per cent of the matches were arranged at the championship. The government interfered in Georgian football and in the end the executive committee named the champion. What a shame!
The most political behavior what Sichinava did was that he did not give reference to imprisoned Giorgi Demetradze. When Kaladze left football, GFF did not say even one word about it. When we started to collect signatures for the restoration of citizenship to Bidzina Ivanishvili, Avto Kantaria was dismissed from the national championship. Merab Megreladze was called to Prosecutor’s Office and he could not leave the house for some days. He was also dismissed. There was pressure on Temur Chkhaidze.
The work of GFF is evaluated negatively. Confidence of business toward Georgian football must be restored. Domenti Sichinava does not have confidence of Georgian football universe. Sichinava is said to be a good manager. What does it mean? Surface of the pitch was changed in Poti and the federation paid 650000 EUR. It is a crime because we have experts who say it would cost 330000 GEL. The field in Lanchkhuti cost 750000 GEL and it is unreal.
Bidzina Ivanishvili was ready to put 150-200 million in Georgian football. Nodar Akhalkatsi Jr. participated in the negotiations. He was told to write program and they would have financed it. After one month, Akhalkatsi told them to give him money. We plan to hold a great congress of GFF.
State of emergency must be announced in Georgian football. We start to work actively. By the way, we have such motto: “Strong regions – strong team”.