Tuesday 11 October 2022, 21:00

FIFA President attends opening of Paraguay WNT training centre

  • Paraguay President Mario Abdo Benítez was present at the opening

  • Alejandro Domínguez, President of CONMEBOL, and APF President Robert Harrison also in attendance

  • Presidents of seven other CONMEBOL member associations there to mark the occasion

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has attended the official opening of a state-of-the-art high-performance training centre for women’s national teams in Paraguay. The President of Paraguay, Mario Abdo Benitez, was also present at the opening ceremony along with the CONMEBOL President Alejandro Domínguez and the President of the Paraguayan Football Association (APF) Robert Harrison. Also in attendance to mark the occasion were Claudio Tapia, Fernando Costa, Pablo Milad, Ramón Jesurún, Francisco Egas, Agustin Lozano and Ignacio Alonso – presidents of the member associations of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Uruguay respectively – as was the vice president of Brazilian Football Association, Reinaldo Bastos, and FIFA Council members Fernando Sarney and María Sol Munoz.

The Centro de Alto Rendimiento del Fútbol Femenino (CARFEM) features two sets of accommodation, one for the senior women's national team and one for youth national teams, plus seven pitches, media facilities, a gymnasium and stands for spectators. The project has been completed with funds from the FIFA Forward programme, CONMEBOL's Evolución Programme and the APF. “This marks a before and an after for women’s football in our country,” said Robert Harrison. The APF said that the complex was "the culmination of a long-awaited project that ratifies the commitment of the management of the President of the Paraguayan Football Association, Robert Harrison and his Executive Committee, to continue providing solid support to the constant growth of women's football, which with this complex will gain impetus towards new conquests."

Gianni Infantino has made the growth of women’s football one of the priorities in his Vision 2020-2023. “I am delighted to be here in Paraguay to witness the opening of this marvellous high-performance centre which has been built specially to cater for the women’s national teams, an example I hope other countries will follow,” said the FIFA President. “This is a great example of how a member association and continental confederation can work together with FIFA to help develop football.” Following the inauguration, the FIFA President was also given the honour of being presented with the Alfonso Capurro Medal by the APF; the medal is their highest honour and recognises outstanding contributions to football.

Paraguay finished fourth in the 2022 Copa America Femenina and have qualified for the Play-Off Tournament which will decide the final slots at the FIFA Women's World Cup 2023™ in Australia and New Zealand. Earlier this year, Paraguay became the second CONMEBOL country to launch a Football for Schools (F4S) programme, which is set to reach 100 schools across the country in the initial phase.