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New football President will change his team

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Friday, October 2
Zviad Sichinava was elected the new President of the Georgian Football Federation yesterday. The election was held at the Federation’s technical centre, Basa, where 29 of 31 delegates voted for him. The process was attended by two UEFA representatives, Josef Misfud and Teodor Theodoris.

Sichinava replaces Nodar Akhalkatsi. On September 17 Akhalkatsi resigned “voluntarily”. The only reason he gave for his decision was the Georgian national team’s failures in recent games. “In recent games the Georgian national team has not had good results, we have not managed to win games and the fans are dissatisfied, which is quite understandable. So I cannot allow myself to remain in my present post,” Akhalkatsi stated at the time.

Sichinava was the only candidate for the post. Before the elections he met Giorgi Asanidze, the Parliamentary Sport Committee Chairman, and agreed to work with him. The Committee head was introduced to Sichinava’s work programme, whose priorities are children’s football and infrastructure development.

After the election the Vice Presidents of the Georgian Football Federation, Ucha Ugulava and Gogi Kavtaradze, told World Sport, they were leaving their posts. They said this decision would come into effect after a process outlined in the Georgian Football Federation’s regulations has been concluded.

Zestaponi FC representative Ilia Kokaia said: “It has no great importance for me who the new President of the GFF is, the main is the Football Federation itself, what the situation is there and what kind of relations it will have with its clubs. I hope the new President will be able to change and improve the situation positively.” Georgian international player Dimitri Ramishvili said, “I am glad with the decision; the players will assist the President if needed. Many important changes need to be made in the Football Federation, infrastructure and so on. This will be quite difficult, but if there is agreement between the authorities, the players and ordinary members of the Federation, serious problems can be easily resolved I think.”

Sichinava told journalists yesterday, “I am planning serious changes in the Federation. A new Executive Committee will be appointed in two weeks time. The Federation must work non stop as there is much to do. I am going to listen to all the professionals and competitors working for the Football Federation at present. Their viewpoints are very important and necessary for me to hear. It is possible that the Georgian national team will gain good results in its next matches, but this would not be an indication that everything is in order, as we must make very serious changes to create long term success,” stated the new President.