Russia's head coach Avtandil Baramidze: "CP Football is my life"

Russia's head coach Avtandil Baramidze: "CP Football is my life"


Avtandil Baramidze won the World Cup with Russia last month in Seville, Spain. He has won several of the biggest prizes in CP Football, amongst others the Paralympic title in London 2012 (pictured), the European title in 2018. High time we get to know him a little better. Volunteer Maggie Tervit interviewed him in Seville.

How long have you been the head coach/manager of the CP national team?
"Since 15 November, 1994"

How much time does it involve? 
"Seven days a week, from 7 am till 11 pm.  CP football is my life."

Describe a typical week in your life? 
"Every week day there are training sessions and on Saturdays and Sundays there are games."

You are responsible for more teams than the CP national team? 
"I am the President of the Russian CP Football Federation (RCPFF) which means  I am responsible for the development of CP football in Russia. This involves different regions, different teams and clubs and of course maintaining the successful performance of the national team at international competitions."

What type of football manager are you?  How would you describe your leadership style? 
"Sometimes, I have to be a father or a brother or  a teacher and sometimes  a friend. I am not afraid of hard work. Friendly and fair but strict when necessary."

Is there a CP football league in Russia?  
"Yes, we hold the National Championships and the Junior Championships of Russia. We have around 40 teams of both adults and children."

How much time does the CP national team spend together? 
"A minimum 250 days a year."

What impact has the IPC’s decision not to include  7-a-side football in the Paralympics had on you?
"It is not fair. It is indecent."

Is it true that the players and yourself receive bonuses, cars etc. when you win a major championship?
"This only applies when competing in the Paralympic games. CP Football is a state programme and funded from the Russian Federation Government. We are grateful to our country and to our president."

What is the average age of the players? 
"Approximately 24 years old."

What is the retirement age in Russia? When do you think you will retire?
"The retirement age is 63 for men, I am already a pensioner. Up until last year the pension age for men was 60. However I intend to work as long as I am able or unless I get dismissed."

Are you married, do you have children……and do they like football?
"I am divorced and have two sons, 37 and 31 years old. One grandson who is 17 and a granddaughter who is 3 years old. I would say that they like football, but not passionately."

How much free time do you get to spend with family and friends? What do you like to do in your free time? 
"I have very little free time. CP Football is also my family. However, I of course keep in touch with family and friends, go to birthday parties and weddings etc. During the festive period round Christmas and New Year (28th December to the 3rd of January) I aim to meet up with mum (is 77 years old) and family and friends."