Football in Latvia
In recent years, football has boomed in popularity in Latvia. However, football is still behind basketball and ice hockey in the nation's list of favourite sports. The national football league has three divisions, each with eight teams, while each team is obliged to have a youth structure in place for at least two age groups. There are youth competitions for all ages between U-10 and U-18. Futsal is extremely popular (18 teams in two leagues), whereas women's football has been slower to catch on. Latvia has not «exported» many players. Andrejs Stolcers (Fulham) and Marians Pahars (Southampton) are the most famous players to have earned a transfer to a European league. In recent years, the Latvian FA has laid used artificial turf pitches in each region of the country in an attempt to improve the grassroots.
The first Goal Project
The new artificial turf pitch in Riga's Daugava Stadium was opened in October 2003. Poor weather conditions and problems with laying the foundations led to major delays in the completion of the project, which was fully financed by the Goal Programme. The pitch can be found in the Daugava Sports Park, which is also home to the national stadium and the national association headquarters. All activities can now be coordinated and implemented from one central location. This new facility will mainly be used by youth national teams (five age groups), women's teams, and the youth teams of various clubs and regions. The new pitch also extends  the outdoor training season by a number of months.
Use of FAP funds
Financing of Goal project
Project
Artificial pitch in Riga
Project approved
29 October 2001
Status
Opened on 31 October 2003
Financed by
Goal USD 400,000 Local Government Land Total cost USD 400,000
20.01.2009