FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today opened the Algerian Football Association’s (FAF) new headquarters in Algiers, constructed with the support of the Goal project and FIFA’s Financial Assistance Programme.
He was accompanied by the Algerian Minister of Youth and Sport Hachemi Djiar, FIFA vice-president and CAF President Issa Hayatou, FAF President and FIFA Executive Committee member Mohamed Raouraoua, FIFA Executive Committee member Hany Abo Rida and the coach of the Algerian national team Vahid Halilhodzic, who also took part in the ceremony.
“It’s a great day for Algerian football, African football and FIFA. I’m very happy to be a part of this celebration marking 50 years of football in this country, which also coincides with the festivities surrounding the 50th anniversary of Algeria’s declaration of independence. I would like to congratulate the FAF and its President, Mohamed Raouraoua,” said the FIFA President, who presented his FAF counterpart with a commemorative plaque for the FAF’s 50th anniversary.
“The FAF is a very well-organised and well-structured football association. These new headquarters, which are both magnificent and practical, are an example of that. They’re a reflection of the renewal of Algerian football,” he added.
The opening ceremony is just one of many engagements scheduled for the FIFA President and his delegation during their two-day visit to Algeria, during which he has held discussions with Hachemi Djiar, as well as with Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.
The African head of state has already awarded President Blatter with Algeria’s National Order of Merit, an accolade handed over by the Minister of Youth and Sport during an official dinner on Monday evening.
At the end of the opening ceremony, the FIFA delegation was invited to take a tour of the National Moudjahid Museum.
While much of the visit to the North African nation has been taken up with questions related to football facilities and infrastructure, the game itself was also on the agenda. The FIFA President and his delegation therefore had the pleasure of attending the Algerian Cup final on Tuesday evening.
The 48th edition of the knockout event saw CR Belouizdad take on ES Setif, two of the country’s most successful clubs. It was ES Setif who emerged triumphant, winning 2-1 after extra time to lift the trophy for the eighth time in the club’s history.