Pilavios: Time to change mindsets
© FIFA.com

Succeeding Vassilis Gagatsis as the head of the Greek Football Association following his election on 24 January, Sofoklis Pilavios made his first official visit to FIFA HQ today. Aged 43, Mr Pilavios is a lawyer specialising in sports law and has been a member of the Greek FA's Executive Committee since 2004. He has also held a number of different posts at Panathinaikos and works as a legal expert for UEFA. After his meeting with President Blatter he answered a few questions for FIFA.com.

FIFA.com: Mr Pilavios, what's the reason for your visit to FIFA?
Sofoklis Pilavios:
I have just been elected head of the Greek FA and it is logical, therefore, that the first person I visit should be the FIFA President, the representative of football's governing body. We exchanged views and President Blatter expressed his interest in the concerns of the Greek FA, such as our financial problems and ongoing violence in the stadiums.

What is your main objective as the new president?
My aim is to change the mindset of the people who work in football in Greece, and to change the way that people see the FA. I also want to help every region in Greece have their own stadiums, and that's something we have already been working on for the last four years through one of our development programmes. Another of my aims is to encourage the growth of football at grassroots level.

Are you happy with the progress Greece are making in the qualifying campaign for South Africa 2010?
I am pleased with how well the team is doing in the World Cup qualifiers, apart from the disappointing result we had at home to Switzerland (a 2-1 defeat). We didn't have much luck that day.

Do you think the team has a good chance of reaching the finals?
We are leading the group but we have two difficult matches in the space of four days against Israel at the end of March. I think those two games will have a vital bearing on Group 2. Whoever comes out on top after those clashes will have a very good chance of reaching South Africa.