Former AFFA representative Elkhan Mammadov has joined FIFA ©Getty Images

Elkhan Mammadov has been appointed as the new FIFA director member associations Europe, starting his role next month.

Mammadov, who is from Azerbaijan, is set to start on May 1, being responsible for regional strategies and analysing requirements of all 55 of FIFA's European members to help create development projects.

He spent nearly 15 years in roles with the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), first as general secretary and then as executive vice-president.

Mammadov fills the vacant spot left by Nodar Akhalkatsi who has moved onto the position of FIFA director of strategic projects and member association governance.

"It is a real boost to FIFA to have Elkhan joining the team," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

"His commitment to building the foundations of football has reaped significant reward for everyone involved in the sport in Azerbaijan, and I look forward to him applying his experience for the benefit of European football as a whole. 

"We welcome him to the FIFA team."

He joined AFFA in 2007, and during that period there, he was the chairman of the Organising Committee behind the FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup in 2012, while sitting on the FIFA Fair Play and Social Responsibility Committee.

Baku held four matches at Euro 2020, partly thanks to Elkhan Mammadov ©Getty Images
Baku held four matches at Euro 2020, partly thanks to Elkhan Mammadov ©Getty Images

"It is a very special opportunity to join FIFA and I do so with feelings of responsibility and honour," said Mammadov.

"Today, FIFA is a locomotive of the game, covering every corner of our fragile world. 

"Together with the FIFA team and member associations, I am sure we will continue developing football, implementing new ideas for further developing both men's and women's football.

"I am passionate about good governance and the sustainable development of football, and I share the objectives of FIFA and President Infantino in that regard.

"The last 15 years at AFFA have given me significant experience in the sports industry. 

"It has been a long and pleasant journey, so thanks to the AFFA President and team for the hand-in-hand collaboration, for implementing effective management, developing grassroots football, and organising great events. 

"I will give everything to use that experience for wider impact in this new position."

Mammadov was pivotal to Baku being named host of the 2015 European Games, as well as the location for the 2019 Europa League final.

Azerbaijan also held four matches at the 2020 European Football Championship.