By Lusine Shahbazyan
Aras Ozbiliz, who has retired from professional football, has announced his candidacy for the President of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA).
"I have always said that after my [professional football] career, I want to help Armenian football, be it as a coach or a manager. I believe that Armenian football is at a crossroads, and a very important crossroads, which is in a very important time. Armenian football has room to grow. That is why I am putting my candidacy in the elections for the FFA president.
I think that with my experience, past path and dedication, I can give a great benefit to Armenian football. For those changes, I need the position to make them happen.
I grew up abroad—in Holland. The hardest [part] will be changing the mindset. We have to change the mentality of players, parents, clubs, which is the most difficult.
Armenian football is on the right path, football has become a well-known sport in Armenia. There are many things I think we can do better.
As long as I am not elected, I don't want to get ahead of myself and say more details. After December 23, if I am elected, I will answer all questions related to the national team.
As far as I'm concerned, the time of the golden age was very good. I see great potential in the current team, too. Imagine: Ozbiliz, [Nair] Tiknizyan, [Eduard] Spertsyan don't come. We have to think about having our footballers. Let's think about who will come if the players from abroad don't come.
I am not putting up my candidacy on the advice, belief of anyone; this is my personal decision. Since my last club was Urartu, it turned out that I am nominating from the club.
I come to solve problems. I see problems in youth football. I am sure that I can help and change Armenian football.
If I am not elected, I will continue to stay in Armenian football, I will try to help our football. My goal is to develop Armenian football. I moved with my family and live in Armenia. If I'm not elected, maybe I'll work as a coach, manager, or have my own [football] academy," said Ozbiliz.
FC Pyunik will also nominate a candidate for the FFA president. In an interview with NEWS.am Sport, the owner of Pyunik, Artur Soghomonyan, said that he will not run for the FFA president, but the club will nominate another candidate.
The deadline for nomination of candidates is November 23 inclusive.
The election of the FFA president will also take place on December 23.