27th Summer Universiade in Kazan,

July 6-17 2013

We are happy we'll be playing in Kazan, footballers of Russia's U19 team say

A press conference dedicated to the start of the first UEFA European U19 Championship 2014 qualifying round took place at the Rubin Stadium in Kazan.

It was attended by Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of the Republic of Tatarstan, Khalil Shaikhutdinov; Head of the Department for the Competitions, Valery Kuchurkin, and head coach of the Russian U19 football team, Dmitry Ulyanov.

According to Valery Kuchurkin, Kazan rightfully earned the right to host such an important event as the qualifying round of the European Championship 2014.

"UEFA has entrusted Russia with such a tournament. In the lead-up to such an event as the 2018 World Cup, UEFA devotes considerable attention to the Russian Federation, and when choosing the city, which could host ​​this tournament, we can only rely on a partner we can trust. We have always reckoned the Republic of Tatarstan as one of such partners. We had no doubt when chose Kazan. The republic has been supporting us in all matters and we are grateful for it," said Kuchurkin at the press conference.

Tatarstan's Deputy Minister of Sport, Khalil Shaikhutdinov, invited football fans to come and support the Russian national team during the tournament.

"We are extremely pleased to host this tournament. We have the needed infrastructure, we have a close relationship with the RFU. I hope that Kazan will continue to host various events. All conditions have been created, the weather is nice today. We invite fans to attend these matches! We will create all conditions to ensure our guests will have a comfortable stay in Kazan," said Shaikhutdinov.

Later on, Dmitry Ulyanov, the head coach of the Russian U19 team, answered the journalists' questions.

"As soon we learned that the tournament will be held in Kazan, we were delighted. At the Universiade, the conditions were stunning. There were many fans, and I hope that we will have the same strong support. We've been training for seven days, we've tried out the turf. The conditions are perfect. So far everything has been going well," said Ulyanov.

Russia's rivals in Kazan will be Malta, Ukraine and Estonia. The first match will take place on October 10 when Ulyanov's team will encounter the Maltese team.

"To date, the main challenger is Malta. And after that everything will be escalating. It will be extremely interesting to play the key match against Ukraine, but right now we are getting ready for the game against Malta," said the coach.

According to Ulyanov, Kazan has created all the conditions to hold the tournament.

"We had training sessions twice a week until October 4. On October 6, we played against the Kazan University team, their players were a little bit older. We tried out our combinations, a few pairings, and were satisfied with the result," said the coach of the Russian team.

"It's a pity that Elmir Nabiullin of Rubin is injured. We counted on this player very much," complained Ulyanov.

The match between Russia and Malta is scheduled for October 10 and will take place at the Rubin Stadium. The admission is free. The match begins at 19.00.

Media Department of Kazan 2013 Executive Directorate