FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony and official inauguration of the Sports Centre of the Football Association of Serbia, along with UEFA President Michel Platini, Serbian FA President Tomislav Karadžić, Minister of the Interior Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Dačić, Serbia’s Minister of Youth and Sports Snežana Samardžić-Marković as well as the President of the Stara Pazova municipality, Goran Jović.
The state-of-the-art facility, located in Stara Pazova, a city near the country's capital Belgrade, was realised thanks to FIFA’s Goal programme, UEFA’s HatTrick programme, the FA of Serbia and the relevant national and local authorities.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Joseph S. Blatter said: "It is an honour and a pleasure to be with you today for the inauguration of this wonderful centre, which Serbian football can be proud of. The development of football is not only a key mission for FIFA, it is our duty. And football is far more than kicking a ball. Football is part of society. Football is respect, discipline, a school of life. It shall be introduced as an education tool for the youth of the world."
Michel Platini outlined that "training of players is at the heart of our mission. Thousands of kids will have the possibility to play here with trained and responsible coaches. The future of Serbian football is here."
“With this centre, Serbia's football has built a base and a roof. I believe this is one of the most beautiful and functional football centres of the world. We extend our sincerest thanks to the government of Serbia, FIFA, UEFA and the municipality of Stara Pazova", commented Tomislav Karadžić.
At an official ceremony organised by the Serbian FA following the inauguration, President Karadžić gave awards to dignitaries who have contributed to the building of the Sports Centre, including the FIFA and UEFA Presidents.