Vahabzade revels in Azerbaijan glory

One of the most popular sports in the world, football, will see eight men's teams compete for gold at the Islamic Solidarity Games. The competition will be held across a number of venues within Baku. The Tofig Bahramov Stadium, home to the Azerbaijani nation football team, will host the final. Dalgha Arena will host the semi-final matches, with Azal Arena and Bayil Arena hosting the group stage matches. The football pitches are not exactly the same size in all the venues, they vary between 100m–110m long and 64m–75m wide. The penalty spot at either end is 11m from the goal.

Football was introduced as a medal-winning sport at the Paris 1900 Olympic Games. Great Britain won the men's gold medal, then successfully defended their title four years later in Stockholm. The sport has featured at every Olympic Games since, except for Los Angeles 1932. The first women's competition was at Atlanta 1996.

Facts and figures:

  • Football originated in China around 476 B.C.
  • Football is the most played and most watched sport in the world
  • Football players run an average of 9.65 kms during every game
  • Neil Armstrong originally wanted to take a football to the moon - but NASA deemed it to be un-American
  • The first live coverage of a football match was shown on television in 1937, it was a practice match Arsenal played at Highbury stadium

1 AZE 75 50 37 162
2 TUR 71 67 57 195
3 IRI 39 26 33 98
4 UZB 15 17 31 63
5 BRN 12 5 4 21
full medals table
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