Following on from their visit to Kazakhstan, the FIFA delegation headed by the FIFA President have spent two days in Moldova, with Thursday 30 April beginning with a meeting between the President of world football's governing body and Vladimir Voronin, President of the Republic of Moldova.
Joseph S. Blatter began by congratulating President Voronin on his party's victory in the recent parliamentary elections. The Moldovan President, a noted football fan who attended the Moldova-Switzerland clash in late March, then started up a conversation about the current state of the game. On this very issue, the man charged with steering world football through today's troubled waters reiterated the importance of "the football family showing solidarity during these times of crisis. FIFA is fortunate to be in good financial health and therefore it can help each one of its members."
Next stop was the Orthodox Church, where President Blatter was awarded Moldova's highest honour, that of 'Stephen the Pious, the Great and the Saint', by His Holiness Vladimir, the Metropolitan Bishop of Chisinau and all Moldova. "I am deeply touched by this award. For me, religion and football have at least one thing in common: they bring hope and emotion to the people," said the FIFA President.
On Friday 1 May, the FIFA delegation made their way the national technical centre in the capital Chisinau, which Blatter visited before he held a press conference alongside the Moldovan Football Association President, Pavel Cebanu.
"It's with great pleasure that I come back here, six years after having laid the first stone of this centre," said Blatter. "The Moldovan [Football] Association and FIFA can be proud of having taken part in such a project. When I first took this role 11 years ago now, one of my objectives was to provide a 'Home of Football' for each member association. Seeing the level of commitment and motivation involved in such projects fills me with joy."
The FIFA delegation subsequently set off for Hungary, the last stage of this trip to eastern Europe.