Football in Lithuania
Football is the second most popular sport in Lithuania after basketball. The nation's greatest success at club or international level came in 1987 when FC Zalgiris (at that time representing the USSR) beat South Korea 5-0 to win the football tournament at the XIV World University Games. In 2003, Lithuania has recorded a series of fine results in EURO 2004 qualifiers, including a 1-1 draw in Germany and a 2-0 win over Scotland. Arvydas Janonis, Arminas Narbekovas and Valdas Augustinas Ivanauskas are Lithuania's most famous players. Janonis won the Olympic Football Tournament in 1988 playing for the USSR, Narbekovas was voted player of the year four times in succession - 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1988 - and is now the Vice-President of the Lithuanian Football Federation, and Ivanauskas won an Austrian league title with Austria Memphis and was named Lithuania's player of the year in 1990, 1991, 1993 and 1994.
The first Goal Project
On 30 November 2002, an artificial turf pitch in Kaunas was inaugurated by Michel Platini - a member of the FIFA Executive Committee and vice-chairman of the Goal Bureau. Fencing and floodlights have been added to the facilities, which have proved extremely useful to the national association for organising a wide range of projects, particularly at youth level. The artificial surface is situated next to an indoor football centre whose construction was part-financed by funds from the FIFA Financial Assistance Programme. The latter was officially opened by FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter in September 2001. Professional, amateur and youth players have been delighted with the artificial turf training facilities. The pitches are used for several hours every day and are also serving to further promote women's football activities.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Artificial pitch in Kaunas
Project approved
15 February 2001
Opened on 30 November 2002
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 FAP USD 90,392 Total cost USD 490,392