FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter today made his first ever visit to the Faroe Islands, a FIFA member since 1988, where he inaugurated the second Goal project of the Faroese Football Association (FSF), an artificial turf pitch at the Torsvollur national stadium in the capital city, Torshavn.
The country's Prime Minister, Kaj Leo Johannesen, himself a former international goalkeeper, capped seven times with the national team, the Mayor of Torshavn, Hedin Mortensen, and the FSF President Christian F. Andreasen participated in the ceremony.
“I enjoyed tremendously my visit to the Faroe Islands,” said the FIFA President. "What has been achieved for football in a such a small country is simply remarkable. Ten per cent of the entire population are registered as football players! I’m particularly pleased that, thanks to FIFA’s Goal programme, an artificial turf pitch has been installed at the national stadium. Such pitches are a key asset for the development of football and this is even more true in regions of the world where the weather conditions can be at times challenging. Football is for all."
The inauguration took place on the pitch on which the men’s national team was training a few days ahead of its upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ preliminary matches at home to Sweden on 12 October and Republic of Ireland on 16 October.
Prime Minister Johannesen stated: "Football is a fantastic game. It brings entertainment as well as a healthy exercise. It also brings people together. It's an excellent ice-breaker when you meet new people. Thanks to FIFA for its support - it means a lot to us. The vision of FIFA is such a good one, where all countries, no matter their size, can play all together. Football has done so much for the international exposure of the Faroe Islands."
During his stay, the FIFA President had the opportunity to visit the FSF Headquarters, opened in 2003 and partly funded by the first Goal project awarded to the federation. He also paid a visit to the city of Midvagar, where he was greatly welcome by the local population and enthusiastic children enjoying a game on a mini-pitch.
“We are so happy that the FIFA President could come to our shores," concluded FSF President Christian F. Andreasen. "We are grateful to FIFA for the help they provide us to develop the game, in particular through the Goal program, which is a great initiative from President Blatter. We're looking forward to our first international game on this pitch on Friday."