Qaqortoq, a town with 3,500 inhabitants in the south of Greenland, is usually known for its peace and quiet, but on Monday 13 September 2010, the picturesque location was transformed into a veritable hive of activity.
The reason for this was the arrival of FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter, who was paying his first-ever visit to the largest island in the world, which is politically self-governing and an autonomous part of the Kingdom of Denmark. Bright sunshine and hundreds of cheering locals were on hand to greet the head of world football's governing body.
“I am overwhelmed by the warmth of this welcome. I had been intending to come to Greenland for a long time now, and I'm so pleased that I have finally made it. The country and the culture here are absolutely fascinating," said Blatter, who then met representatives of the municipality of Kujalleq in the local town hall.
I had been intending to come to Greenland for a long time now, and I'm so pleased that I have finally made it. The country and the culture here are absolutely fascinating.
"It is a great honour to be able to welcome you here,” said mayor Kristine Raahauge in her speech, which was also attended by Nuka Kleemann and Lars Lundblad, presidents of the Greenland Sports Federation (GIF) and Greenland Football Association (GBU) respectively.
After a brief tour of Qaqortoq, it was time for the highlight of the visit. The FIFA President, along with Allan Hansen, president of the Danish Football Association (DBU), officially inaugurated Greenland’s first artificial pitch. The ultra-modern venue was built on the initiative of the DBU and financed by the FIFA Goal programme, and was handed over to a delighted Lars Lundblad.