FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter on Tuesday completed a two-day visit to Iceland, where he met with representatives of the Football Association of Iceland (KSI), chaired by Geir Thorsteinsson, and the authorities of the country, including the Minister of Education, Science and Culture, Katrin Jakobsdottir, as well as the President of the Republic, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson.
The latter told the FIFA President: “When I look at the development of Icelandic football, done in a relatively short space of time and with a small population compared to many others, then it should be possible to make similar achievements in other parts of the world. Furthermore, I would like to underline the major contribution of the sport in strengthening the people's solidarity in our economic recovery. Football brings people together. You should be proud of what you're doing.”
During his stay, President Blatter visited the KSI House of Football and Technical Centre in Laugardalur, which were built as part of a FIFA GOAL project and opened in 2007, as well as the Korinn and Fifan indoor full-size football pitches in Kopavogur. With the climate conditions of the country, indoor football pitches play a key role for the organisation and the development of the sport. Moreover, the KSI received a FIFA ‘GOAL football’ project in 2010, with the objective to support the development of the game in the rural areas of the island.
President Blatter said: “I want to congratulate the Football Association of Iceland, and in particular its President Geir Thorsteinsson, for the great work which is being done here to develop football. I am very impressed by the technical work performed by KSI, as well as by the facilities which have been built, including indoor full-size football pitches. I’m sure that such a well-thought policy will bring great results to Icelandic football.”
Thorsteinsson added: “It was a great pleasure to host the FIFA President and his delegation in Iceland, and to show our organisation and objectives. I’m particularly glad by the positive comments given by President Blatter. For us, this adds to our motivation to continue our efforts to develop football in our country.”
Iceland’s men national team will play its next two 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifiers in Albania on 12 October and at home to Switzerland four days later. The women’s national team has recently qualified for the play-offs of the 2013 UEFA Women’s Euro preliminaries which they will play against Ukraine (away on 20 October and at home five days later)..