Saturday 02 October 2021, 13:00

FIFA President visits Latvia: “Time to bring football to the next level”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has made his first visit to Latvia to discuss the development of football in the country.

Mr Infantino met Arturs Krisjanis Kariņs, Prime Minister of the Republic of Latvia, in a discussion also attended by the Latvian Football Federation (LFF) president Vadims Lasenko and vice-president Olafs Pulks before he visited several club venues across the city.

“There is great untapped potential in this country,” he said after watching children compete at the Playoff Arena indoor complex.

“There is the passion of the federation, of all the people around football. It is a sports country and football, maybe, has not yet reached the level that it deserves. I witnessed first-hand the great job done by the LFF and I am convinced that together we will get there.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino pictured with children on a visit to Latvia

Mr Infantino attended the opening ceremony of a new training facility of FK Rigas Futbola Skola (RFS), currently under construction. He also visited the Daugava Stadium, watched FK Spartaks Jurmala play Riga FC at the Sloka Stadium in Jurmala, before he visited Riga FC's training pitches.

Mr Infantino also attended a joint meeting with the LFF and Arturs Toms Pless, Minister for Environment and Regional development, to discuss the importance of further developing infrastructure to support the game at all levels in Latvia.

“There is a lot of investment in indoor and outdoor football pitches,” he added. “The government is investing in infrastructure and, definitely, there is a place for a national football stadium. It's more than just a place where you play football, it's a place for which the country is proud.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino in Latvia.