As we reported earlier, the president of the International rugby union Bernard Lapasset is on a 5-day visit in Tashkent. He became acquainted with the process of the implementation of the international program "Introduction to Rugby" in Uzbekistan, visited the sports training rugby base, held several meetings with representatives of government, business and sports, as well as attended the match between Uzbekistan and India in the 3rd Division of Asia Rugby Championship. In an exclusive interview with UzReport TV president of the International rugby union told about the International Program for the Development of rugby, priority directions and prospects of development of the sport in Uzbekistan.
- Mr. Lapasset, before the interview I would like to welcome you in our country. As we know, you have come to be acquainted with the progress of the implementation of the International Program for the development of rugby in Uzbekistan. Could you tell us more in details, what kind of program it is, what are its aims and objectives?
- When I became president of the International rugby union, one of the main objectives I set before myself was to popularize the sport throughout the world, particularly in Asia. Therefore, one of the key decisions was to host the Rugby World Cup in 2019 in Japan. In case of its success, we plan to involve to the championships other Asian countries as well. We also create territorial representatives of the International rugby union in the central states of a given region in order to carry out in every continent sports competitions at the highest level. With this in mind, we are happy to open the Central Asian territorial representative office of the International rugby union in Uzbekistan.
- How do you assess the progress of the International Program for the development of rugby in Uzbekistan and the activities of the national federation of rugby as a whole?
- I would like to note that Uzbekistan Rugby Federation has competent leaders who are making a great contribution to the development of rugby in your country. National Federation fulfills all the international requirements and meets all the plans of global development of the sport. Good conditions for the organization of training and tournaments in accordance with modern requirements are made for athletes. Simply speaking, the National Federation is an active member of the international rugby community.
- A great job is carried out, as well as significant results are achieved under your leadership in the International Rugby Union. In particular, the discipline of Rugby-7 is included in the program of the 31 Summer Olympic Games in 2016 in Brazil. In this regard, how do you prepare for this major sport event, given the fact that the IOC reserves the right to exclude the sport from the Olympic program in 2020, depending on the degree of success of its debut?
- This is a very good question. Since 1924, rugby was not included in Olympic sport, so for us the inclusion of this sport is a great honor. It is also very pleased that the games will be held in Rio de Janeiro. During those six days, when the competitions will take place in rugby, we have to show ourselves, and these days are the most important for us. Therefore, the support of our fans is of big importance for us. After all, we are creating a major show on the field, and the field makes the show as a major. And we hope that we will no longer be called into question of exclusion, and in 2020 in Tokyo and in the next Olympic Games will be part of the Olympic program.
- This is your first visit to our country. What are your impressions about Uzbekistan, did you manage to visit any sightseeings?
- While I was studying at school, from 6 years I have studied the history of Uzbekistan as one of the centers of civilization. It is known that the Great Silk Road once passed through the territory of your state, and it should be noted that it is necessary to study the history of Uzbekistan. As for my visit, I liked Tashkent very much; the streets here are clean and beautiful. I should note that my compatriots love to visit historical sites in Samarkand and Bukhara, and certainly the tourist potential of Uzbekistan is really huge.
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