Thursday 29 September 2022, 19:30

FIFA President praises FSHF as it inaugurates ‘magnificent’ new HQ

  • Gianni Infantino gave a speech at the inauguration of the new ‘Home of Football’ in Tirana, Albania

  • During the visit Mr Infantino met Prime Minister Rama, and FSHF President Armand Duka

  • Earlier in the day the FIFA President was also given a tour of the Arena Kombëtare

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has travelled to Tirana, Albania, to meet with the country’s Prime Minister, the President of the Albanian Football Federation (FSHF), and attend the inauguration of its new headquarters – a project part funded by the FIFA Forward programme. “This is a perfect day, a day of festivities, a day full of joy, a celebration at which we inaugurate this magnificent house of football,” the FIFA President said to guests at the ceremony – a delegation that included Albania’s Minister of Education and Sports, Evis Kushi, Muamed Sejdini, President of the Football Federation of North Macedonia and members of the wider football community.

“After 90 years of membership of the Albanian Football Federation at FIFA it was time that we together work with everybody, with the government, the federation and FIFA, all like a football team to win together this challenge and create together this magnificent House of Football. This is a house for all the girls and boys who love football in this beautiful country as Albania is.” Earlier in the day the FIFA President met with Prime Minister Edi Rama and FSHF President Armand Duka, during which a wide range of football development matters within Albania were discussed. Mr Infantino – accompanied by FIFA World Cup™ winner and now senior football advisor at FIFA Youri Djorkaeff – then travelled to the Arena Kombëtare for a personal tour, led by President Duka. Following the meeting, Prime Minister Rama said: “With FIFA President Gianni Infantino, a good friend honours us today with his and his team’s visit – where the presence of the Inter legend Youri Djorkaeff shines.”

After the stadium tour, President Infantino travelled to the FSHF’s new ‘House of Football’ headquarters in Tirana for its inauguration ceremony. The new centre which was part-funded by the FIFA Forward programme, the governing body of world football’s mechanism for disturbing funds for global football development. The FSHF has actively engaged with the FIFA Forward programme since its inception in 2016, shortly after Gianni Infantino became FIFA President. In addition to the USD 2.25 million invested from FIFA Forward funds into its new headquarters, it has also invested a further USD 2 million for further construction of football infrastructure. In 2020, the member association also applied for and received USD 1 million COVID-19 Solidarity Grant, and USD 500,000 Women’s Football COVID-19 Grant – both of which used to successfully maintain grassroots, youth and women’s football throughout the country during the pandemic.

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