Sunday 17 October 2021, 20:30

Chile’s youth take centre stage

Improving the standard of coaching, infrastructure and facilities are some of the ways the Chilean Football Federation (ANFP) is prioritising football development at all levels, in the men’s, women’s and youth games. Discovering their plans for the future of football, the FIFA President Gianni Infantino congratulated ANFP President Pablo Milad, General Secretary Jorge Yunge and all at the federation, for their “enormous work” throughout the whole spectrum of Chilean football. “I would like to congratulate President Milad and his team for the enormous work they do within men's, women's and youth football,” President Infantino said. “Their commitment to development and improving the quality of training is so important, because that will nurture the talent for the Chilean domestic competitions and, ultimately, boost their competitiveness at national level.

“The last year and a half have been difficult because of the pandemic, and that is why I am very happy to be back in South America, and Chile, a country which has given so much to the history of football. Chile is a place very close to my heart, because it is here where I began my campaign to become FIFA President in late 2015, when the FIFA U-17 World Cup was being hosted.” President Infantino was also welcomed to kick-off O’Higgins FC U21 v Deportes Santa Cruz U21 in the sixth-round of Campeonato Futbol Joven, a youth tournament supported by FIFA Forward, at the ANFP headquarters , in the Santiago suburbs.

The FIFA President continued: “The ANFP’s enthusiasm, ambition and great creativity are infectious, and, combined with the tremendous efforts of those involved in football here, will no doubt contribute to its further development, at all levels. We at FIFA very much look forward to continuing to support them.” The ANFP President, Pablo Milad, offered an insight into the discussions, as well as the plans to construct a new, purpose-built sports complex together with the Chilean government, and with FIFA’s support. “We are very happy to welcome the FIFA President, to review and talk about our Chilean football projects in detail,” he explained. “We showed him the work we are carrying out within youth and women’s football, particularly the National Training Football Plan. We were also able to present the future projects of our Federation, such as the Sports City for Chilean Football, an initiative supported by FIFA.”

President Infantino also met with Cecilia Perez, Chile’s Minister of Sports, the Minister of National Assets, Julio Isamit and President of the Chilean Olympic Committee, Miguel Angel Mujica, to examine completed and future football development projects. Minister Perez thanked FIFA and the ANFP for the opportunity to build on existing plans through their discussions. "I greatly value this enriching relationship that we had with the President of FIFA,” she said. “We analysed future projects for the benefit of the development of Chilean football, which will allow us to move forward and continue working to level the playing field in this sport, which has the huge capacity to unite us and bring us great joy.”