President of San Lorenzo Argentinean Football Club Recognized for Rejecting Azerbaijan Sponsorship



BUENOS AIRES — “I am very pleased that San Lorenzo could be a pioneer in saying no to a budget offering, in saying that not everything can be bought, that not everything can be sold.”

With those words, Matias Lammens, president of the Argentinean football club San Lorenzo de Almagro, was recognized by the Armenian community on Friday, October 31, at AGBU Center here for rejecting Azerbaijan sponsorship in his club.

“Sometimes the power of money tries to trample on history, because Nagorno Karabagh was an Armenian territory until 1917. It is surprising how money occupies such an important place in our society and steps over issues of history and identity,” said Lammens.

After the news released, Lammens was honored in front of most of the representatives of Armenian institutions, as well as leaders of other football clubs like the Vice Presidents of River and Independiente, Matias Patanian and Noray Nakis, respectively. The renowned sports journalists Enrique Macaya Marquez and Walter Safarian, who acted as host, also attended the event.

Lammens provided details of the Azeri officials approach in Madrid and Argentina, who told him that “there could not be ethnic Armenians in the executive committee of the club.”

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He also expressed his admiration for the Armenian community because “they are great activists and have always passed on from generation to generation the Armenian cause for genocide recognition. It seems incredible that only 20 countries have recognized the Genocide after almost a hundred years.”

Walter Safarian explained that Azerbaijan tried to enter the same contract with the Uruguayan club Peñarol, but they couldn’t “because everyone knows that the Armenian community in Uruguay is large and strong. Also, the board of Peñarol had two Armenian officials.”

Christian Leblebidjian

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