Thursday 04 May 2023, 19:45

Gianni Infantino visits Turkmenistan and discusses football development with President Serdar Berdimuhamedow

  • FIFA President visited Turkmenistan for the first time

  • Gianni Infantino said that FIFA has great projects for Turkmenistan

  • Turkmenistan reached the quarter-finals of the AFC U-23 Asian Cup in 2022

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the President of Turkmenistan, H.E. Mr. Serdar Berdimuhamedow, discussed football development in the Central Asian nation during a meeting in the capital Ashgabat. Gianni Infantino, who also met the Chairman of the Football Federation of Turkmenistan (TFF), Arslan Aynazarov, during his visit, said the talks centered on how to grow football in the country and build on Turkmenistan’s performance at the 2022 AFC U-23 Asian Cup, when they reached the quarter-finals. The possible projects discussed included a technical centre and an academy for young players.

“I am very happy to be in Turkmenistan today, here in this beautiful city of Ashgabat. I was honoured to meet the President,“ said Mr Infantino, who was visiting Turkmenistan for the first time. “We had a great discussion, we also had a working lunch with the chairman of the football federation, with ministers.”

“We have great projects for Turkmenistan,” he said. “We have to make football grow in this country, Turkmenistan is a football country….it has a great talent for football and…. a great passion for football. “

Commentating on the under-23 team’s performance last year, he said: “We need to build on that and we were discussing with the President about investments in the country.”

“We are thinking about making a technical centre, an academy for the talents of Turkmenistan, and this would be a project supported by the government and by FIFA together with the football federation,” the FIFA President said. “We need to bring technical experts, management experts to help football grow at grassroots level, with the schools.”

During his visit to Ashgabat, Mr Infantino was also shown around some of sports complexes in Ashgabat. The FIFA President previously held talks with Mr Aynazarov, who was elected as TFF President in 2021, in Doha in September.