After watching the opening two games of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Championship Russia 2006 in St Petersburg, FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter travelled south to Moscow to take in the action on day two of the tournament.
Before the day's events got under way Blatter gave a press conference at Dynamo Stadium, where he was joined by Vitaly Mutko, President of the Football Union of Russia, and Chuck Blazer, Chairman of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups. FIFA.com brings you the main points.
FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter
"It is a pleasure for me to return to Russia, and I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have seen at the tournament so far. The opening ceremony was well thought-out, elegant and extremely colourful, and very much in keeping with the tradition of the city.
"There is no question, however, that the football was the most important thing. We want to see who the best U-20 players in the world are at this tournament. I was very impressed by the tactical and technical quality on show in the game between the hosts and Brazil. There was a lot of intensity throughout the match and the result was in doubt right up to the end. I am sure it was incredible for the girls to play in such a wonderful stadium and with such a magnificent crowd behind them. I would like to thank the organisers for the tremendous job they have done.
"The Football Union of Russia is enjoying a dynamic new phase in its history and this dynamism can be seen in a number of different projects, such as the creation of more football pitches throughout the country. Football is also being introduced in schools as a form of education, something I have always been in favour of. Whenever the Football Union of Russia needs FIFA's help with any of these initiatives, we will make the necessary development programmes available. We know very well that Russia is more a continent than a country, and we are fully aware of the effort this involves.
"Where there is a will, there is a way. Thanks to the federation's dynamic approach and solid work, Russia can take its place on the world stage by possibly hosting some of the other youth competitions, such as the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the FIFA U-17 World Cup, to be held next year in Canada and Korea Republic respectively. To do so, however, it must develop more stadia, not just in Moscow and St Petersburg but all over the country."
Vitaly Mutko, President of the Football Union of Russia
"We were very serious about taking on the challenge of organising this tournament, and we greatly appreciate the confidence shown in us. We prepared for the tournament thoroughly and are certain it will be a resounding success."
Chuck Blazer, President of the Organising Committee for the FIFA U-20 and U-17 Women's World Cups.
"We have noticed a tremendous change from the first time we inspected the stadia, and that is down to the hard work that has been put in. May I thank the Local Organising Committee for their unstinting efforts and for having responded so positively to our requirements."