Thursday 04 August 2022, 05:00

FEDOFUTBOL opens state-of-the-art offices with the support of FIFA Forward

  • FEDOFUTBOL renovated its offices and sports facilities with help from FIFA Forward

  • Inauguration attended by multiple local and FIFA officials

  • A delighted FIFA President Gianni Infantino congratulated FEDOFUTBOL on its recent sporting successes

On 20 July 2022, FEDOFUTBOL, the Dominican Football Federation, inaugurated its new headquarters at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Centre in the capital Santo Domingo. The event was attended by, among others, the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and FIFA executives, who witnessed the inauguration of a project that was supported to the tune of USD 973,412 by the FIFA Forward Programme.

While FIFA President Gianni Infantino was unable to attend the event in person, he nevertheless sent a video message expressing his delight at the completion of the project. "As you know, one of my main goals since being elected FIFA President in 2016 has been to promote development in FIFA's 211 Member Associations, providing talent everywhere the opportunity to blossom and making national teams more competitive. Therefore, I am especially happy to be sending this message," he said.

FEDOFUTBOL’s original headquarters and sports facilities were built back in 1973, but a lack of maintenance or renovation since then led to marked deterioration. Leaks, faults with the plumbing and electrical systems, damaged surfaces and inadequate office distribution were just some of the problems the Federation had to deal with day to day. Consequently, FEDFUTBOL took the decision to request the assistance of FIFA through its Forward Development programme, seeking financial support and technical advice not just to remedy the aforementioned office problems, but also to upgrade the sports facilities at the complex. The objective was to create a dynamic environment and appropriate conditions for the federation’s staff to work in.

"It's not about constructing a building per se, but rather laying the foundations to make history. These facilities will witness the growth of Dominican football. The dreams of thousands of the country’s male and female players, referees and coaches will be forged here. Within these walls, decisions will be made that will be transformative for the future of football in the country. Tournaments will take place here at national and international level," said Jair Bertoni, FIFA Director of Member Associations Americas. "Don’t forget the changing rooms were already used during Concacaf’s U-20 and U-17 Women's Championships. All the federation’s targets are within reach, and the Dominican Republic has the potential to achieve great things as evidenced by the men’s national team's recent qualification for the next FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia," he added.

Inauguration of the renovated offices of FEDOFUTBOL

In addition to the refurbishment of the offices, the federation increased from three to four the number of changing rooms for players. Two more were built especially for referees, while a media room with capacity for 40 journalists, a sports medicine area, an anti-doping room, two meeting rooms, a dining room and a kitchen were also added, among other things. "It is thanks to the support and help of FIFA, through funding of one million dollars from its FIFA Forward Development programme, that we reoccupy our headquarters today. Seeing it refurbished into a modern office space fills us with pride. We can thank them by continuing to run a growing federation with explicit objectives and clear management," said Ruben Garcia Ciprian, president of FEDOFUTBOL’s Executive Committee.

Perfect timing

These major improvements could not have come at a better time. On 3 July, Dominican Republic finished runners-up at the Concacaf U-20 Championship after going down to USA in the final. However, that second place ensured qualification for both the FIFA U-20 World Cup Indonesia 2023 and the Men's Olympic Football Tournament Paris 2024 – the former being the first time the national team have qualified for a FIFA tournament. With these enhanced facilities, there is no reason why the country’s national teams cannot continue to develop and aspire to be among the region’s top sides. Moreover, local football will also benefit with approximately 21 fixtures of the Dominican professional league and other categories such as the Dominican Football Expansion League scheduled take place at the venue each season, enabling more referees and players of both genders to enjoy this high-quality football establishment.

Inauguration of the renovated offices of FEDOFUTBOL

"I’d like to congratulate the national team on their historic qualification for the U-20 World Cup to be held in Indonesia next year. It’s the first time a team from this wonderful country have managed to qualify for a FIFA tournament. It’s an incredible achievement and a clear demonstration that football is developing and gaining popularity in a country with enormous footballing potential," added Gianni Infantino. Ruben Garcia also remarked on the achievement, saying: "When you first come to an institution like this, you have many hopes and dreams. For this Executive Committee, we can say that many of these dreams have been fulfilled.

"About 20 days ago we realised one of the biggest: our U-20 side became the first Dominican team to qualify for a World Cup. Two days later, we celebrated another first for Dominican football by qualifying for our maiden Olympic Football Tournament. Hard work and the collaboration of the Member Federations and the amateur and professional clubs contributed to the realisation of this dream.”