Greenland gripped by football fever
© FIFA.com

On the second day of his trip to Greenland, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter visited the capital Nuuk, the country's largest city with a population of around 15,000. He was received by Mimi Karlsen, who is Minister for Culture, Education, Research and Church Affairs, who expressed her thanks for the artificial pitch in Qaqortoq which had been officially unveiled the previous day and has been financed by the FIFA Goal programme.

"This incredible venue will motivate people and give them a wonderful opportunity to play football all year round," said Karlsen. "It will be invaluable for the education and training of our youngsters."

"Football is a good school of life. It promotes values such as discipline, respect and fair play which are applicable to society in general. Football brings people together and is an important part of our social co-existence," underlined Blatter, who then went on to have discussions with Deputy Prime minister Jens B. Frederiksen and Parliamentary President Josef Motzfeldt.

After seeing his name included in the honorary guest book of the city and having a tour around the impressive parliament building, the FIFA President then enjoyed a presentation by the city’s mayor, Asii Chemnitz Narup, on the municipal council's plans to build a covered football stadium in Nuuk in the next few years.

From the centre circle to the Arctic Circle
In the press conference which rounded off proceedings, Blatter fielded questions from the many media representatives in attendance and was effusive in his praise of the Greenlanders. "It is great to be here in this wonderful country,” he said. “The enthusiasm that people have here for football is fantastic, as is their hospitality. I have felt right at home here ever since the plane touched down."

The FIFA President then headed north from Nuuk to Ilulissat, the third-largest city in Greenland (population c. 4,500), which is 200 kilometres inside the Arctic Circle and known for its breath-taking landscapes. Football again was the centre of attention, with Blatter enjoying a match between two local teams and receiving a warm welcome from the players involved.

An eventful and football-filled day was then concluded by a meeting with representatives of the Qaasuitsup municipal council.