Mark Whitby on MD5 Appointment

Published on 21 November, 2012 
By: Mark Williams

Welsh Officials are heading off to Azerbaijan on Tuesday (20.11.2012) where they will oversee the Europa League tie between Neftçi v Partizan, the tie will take place in the Tofig Bahramov-Republic stadium.

Referee: Lee Evans
A Referees: Eddie King & Phil Thomas
AA Referees: Mark Whitby & Bryn Markham-Jones
4th Official : Alun Boore

Neftçi are the first Azeri side to make it to the group stage of a UEFA club competition. With seven league titles, they are the most successful team in Azerbaijan since independence, having set a Soviet-era high-water mark for the republic by finishing third in the USSR's top division in 1966.

The Tofiq Bahramov Stadium was built in 1951. Its construction started before the World War II in 1939, but was suspended. When its construction resumed, it was finished by the German prisoners of war. Initially the stadium was named after Joseph Stalin.

After the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956 (denunciation of Stalin) it was renamed after Vladimir Lenin. In 1993, the stadium was named after the famous football referee Tofiq Bahramov ( who was notable for being the assistant referee who award a goal for England in the 1966 FIFA World Cup Final against West Germany ) who died in the same year.

In 2011, Presidential Reserve Fund of the State Budget of Azerbaijan for 2011 allocated $10 million for capital repairs and reconstruction of the stadium as it could be used as potenial venue for Eurovision Song Contest 2012. The stadium was renovated and reopened on August 16, 2012


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