Being one of the best players in Azerbaijan, Yelizaveta Samadova has been with the Azeri national team since her youth days. It’s safe to say that even though she is still only 23-years-old, her experience with the national team has allowed her to play in many different venues and countries. This year, though, things were supposed to go up a notch for the youngster, as she was participating in her first World Championship. However, the very low attendance during the competition was like a bucket of cold water on the player’s head:
“To be honest, I was expecting something more. For example, at the European Championships in Baku a year ago, we played in front of 6,000 people and there was excellent support. When we played in Kobe, I think there were literally a hundred people at the games. And this was not only with Azerbaijan, but also on other matches of the group as well. There was no world championship atmosphere.”
Samadova is right to be at least a little surprised with the little turnout in Japan. In 9 games played, Azerbaijan netted an average attendance of only 506 spectators and played to as little as 160 fans in its match against Bulgaria. Those numbers are just heartbreaking.
With no regards for a diplomatic interview, the players wasn’t so keen on Japan either:
“To live there, you need to be born there. For example, I could not live there. I am not a seafood lover, and that is the only thing they eat there. The culture is very keen on anime, and girls on the streets dress like these cartoons. Japan is considered one of the cleanest countries in the word. But if, for example, you eat candy or drink water, you will go with a candy wrapper or a bottle all day, because you will not see a trashcan. How it can be the cleanest country, I do not know.”
Say what you want, but Samadova’s blunt frankness is a nice break for most players’ pre-tailored media comments.