PM scores hat trick in friendly Tbilisi-Tskhinvali football match

PM Garibashvili said he wanted Tskhinvali to win today. Photo by PM's press office, 12 Oct 2014 - 17:10, Tbilisi,Georgia

Georgia’s Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili scored a hat trick in a friendly football match between Tbilisi and Tskhinvali teams in Gori today.

The symbolic match between the teams from Georgia’s capital city and the country’s breakaway region ended in 4-all tie. The PM played the first half for Tbilisi and joined the Tskhinvali team in the second half.

The Tbilisi team was composed of Government members and former and current famous Georgian football players. The Prime Minister captained the team in the first half before he switched teams and scored three goals.

Photo by PM's press office

Other Governmental members of the team were Vice Prime Minister and Energy Minister and former world class football player Kakha Kaladze, Environment Minister Elgudja Khokrishvili, Agriculture Minister Otar Danelia, Sport Minister Levan Kifiani, Interior Minister Alexander Tchikaidze (goalkeeper) and Gori Municipality Majoritarian candidate Soso Vakhtangishvili.

The Tskhinvali team was composed mainly of football players from Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia’s Russian-occupied region.

Before the match, the PM said the game was a step forward to restoring confidence between Georgians and Ossetians.

"This is more than just a sport,” he said.

"This idea was born about two months ago and we supported it. We learned that our Ossetian brothers wanted to come to Gori and continue their career here. We did our best to support this initiative. They are now successfully competing,” Prime Minister Garibashvili said.

"We decided to have a friendly game with our Ossetian brothers. This is a very important step forward to restore confidence to between Georgians and our brothers – Ossetians.”

Garibashvili said he was unfit and in bad shape in terms of football but he had hope for his team before adding he wanted the Tskhinvali team to win today.