Friday 30 June 2023, 09:20

Andorra’s La Massana Sporting Centre takes second place in FIFA Forward awards

  • Awards introduced to recognise the best FIFA Forward Programme projects

  • Andorra’s La Massana Sporting Centre offers 150 hours per week of training sessions

  • Facility can also be used for matches and futsal

One of the biggest challenges to football development in Andorra, partly due to the Principality's mountainous topography and its small area of only 468 square kilometres, has been a lack of pitches for training. The Andorran Football Federation (FAF) has taken a huge step in overcoming this issue by building La Massana Sporting Centre, greatly increasing the number of training hours available at all levels, from grassroots to the national team.

Completed in January 2021, La Massana includes a full-size artificial pitch, with a tribune for up to 500 spectators, a seven-a-side artificial pitch and a futsal pitch. Each can be used for 50 hours of training sessions, plus 20 hours of matches for the full size and futsal pitches and five hours for the mini-pitch. It is used by the men's and women's national teams of all age levels as well as club sides and can host first and second division matches in the Andorra league. It has also permitted the creation of a women's league plus one for veterans.

FIFA Forward funded pitch in Andorra

The centre was built with support of the FIFA Forward and is an outstanding example of how FIFA's flagship development programme can used to benefit football in a country – so much so that it has taken second place in the first-ever FIFA Forward awards. FIFA Forward contributed USD 1,636,109 of the total cost, while UEFA provided USD 2,730,456 and the FAF USD 4,490,349. “The Andorran Football Federation is proud and honoured that FIFA has awarded us second place in the awards for football infrastructure projects in Europe,” said the FAF President Felix Álvarez. “In a way, this makes us an example of how the small countries can be among the best in Europe. It’s very important for us to have this recognition, which encourages us and pushes us to keep working every day, making football an indispensable tool for our society.”

FIFA Forward Awards - Andorra

Elkhan Mammadov, FIFA Director of Member Associations Europe, congratulated Andorra on what he described as an exceptional achievement. “It is remarkable how they have succeeded over the obstacle of limited soccer fields, ensuring a constant increase in hours of use and development for Andorran Football," he said. "Through the La Massana project, they have successfully elevated the number of training sessions and matches at the national level, significantly improving their quality. As one of the premier facilities in the country, they have become a shining example, facilitating the growth and progress of national football. Thank you, Andorran Football Federation, for your dedication and outstanding accomplishments!”

The initial awards, which attracted entries from 21 member associations, were open to the 55 European member associations and focused on infrastructure projects. FIFA funds can also be used to organise competitions and cover operating costs, depending on the needs of the member association. FIFA Forward, which offers funding to each of the 211 member associations, is at the heart of FIFA’s drive to develop football around the world and hundreds of projects have been completed in its seven years of existence. The Armenian Football Association (FFA) took first place for its remarkable effort in building 89 mini-pitches across the country while the bronze medal went to the Moldovan Football Association (FMF) for the Multi-Purpose Beach Soccer stadium named La Izvor.

Discover more

Find out about FIFA Forward's background and proposition.

The core principles

Find out more about the FIFA Forward core principles.

Programme history

Explore the history of the FIFA Forward Programme since the first edition in 2016.