UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has helped lay the foundation stone for the Andorran Football Federation’s La Massana Football Village – to be built with UEFA HatTrick help.
Article top media content
UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has visited Andorra, where he helped lay the foundation stone for the Andorran Football Federation's (FAF) La Massana Football Village – which is being built with funding from UEFA's HatTrick assistance programme.
During his visit to the eastern Pyrenean state – the first ever by a UEFA President – Mr Čeferin, who was accompanied by UEFA General Secretary Theodore Theodoridis, also met the Andorran prime minister Antoni Marti and sports minister Olga Gelabert, and held talks with senior officials from the Andorran national association, including president Victor Santos and general secretary Tomàs Gea.
Andorra's football village will comprise, among others, a complex with a full artificial pitch, and a futsal arena. The objective is to increase the number of opportunities for Andorran clubs and national teams to play official matches.
Mr Čeferin and Mr Theodoridis also signed a football that is to be buried at the La Massana site to mark the laying of the foundation stone and beginning of construction
"I'm impressed with Andorra and the work of the association," said the UEFA President, who was thanked by Mr Marti for UEFA's contribution in developing football in the principality of some 77,000 inhabitants, which has been a member of UEFA since 1996.
"This is a challenging project," he said of the La Massana centre, "but Andorra knows how such a project must be moved forward."
Mr Čeferin emphasised that UEFA would continue to give every assistance to Europe's smaller national associations, enabling them to make a full contribution to the European governing body's work and mission to nurture football across the continent.
The mayor of La Massana, David Baró, was present at the foundation stone ceremony. "We are very pleased with this new FAF and UEFA project," he said. "It is a very important investment. It is great news for La Massana, for its citizens and for the whole country."
UEFA HatTrick funding has also been significant in the construction of Andorra's national stadium, as well as in the building and expansion of the Andorran national training centre, as part of a programme to increase and enhance the number of football infrastructures in the principality.
"The President of UEFA congratulated us for the work that we are doing," said Victor Santos. "He saw the facilities that we have in Andorra. This is another example that demonstrates that we are working well."
The Andorran authorities welcomed Mr Čeferin's visit. "Having the president of UEFA come and to get to know him in person in our small country is very important," said Olga Gelabert.
"Every day, there are more and more children in Andorra who are taking part in sports and more children playing football, so we really appreciate his help."