FIFA President attends Football Federation of Armenia anniversary celebration
The FFA was commemorating its 30th anniversary with a series of events in Yerevan
Mr Infantino addressed dignitaries and delegates attending the gala dinner
The FIFA President also participated in a small-sided match, which took place at a pitch built through the FIFA Forward Programme
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has personally congratulated the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA), as it gathered in Yerevan to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Speaking at a gala dinner attended by dignitaries including Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin and FFA President Armen Melikbeyan, the FIFA President praised the FFA for the football development work it has championed since its establishment in 1992.
Mr Infantino singled the expansive development work carried out by the FFA to reinvest in grassroots football facilities across the country, via the FIFA Forward Programme.
“I would like to congratulate Armen and the whole Federation in Armenia for the fantastic work they are doing for our children in particular,” the FIFA President said. “The project we put together with the mini-fields in the different villages of the country is a project that looks into the future, that gives emotions, smiles and hope to thousands and thousands of children all over Armenia.”
“I would like to thank you dear Prime Minister – as well as the President of Armenia who was also with us earlier – and all of the municipalities of Armenia for helping us, along with the Federation, to mobilise the fans and to promote football.”
Earlier in the day, in the presence of President of Armenia Vahagn Khachaturyan, President Infantino joined local and international legends for a game of football at Tsovagyugh Village – on one the pitches built through the FIFA Forward Programme.
At the evening event, the FIFA President also took the opportunity to look ahead to what promises to be a bright future for football in Armenia – from grassroots to national team level, and the prospect of a new national stadium on the horizon.
“Football brings people together, creates the team spirit that is needed – not only in Armenia but all over the world – and has this magic that makes our hearts beat,” President Infantino continued. “I’m very happy dear Prime Minister and dear friends that the next big project in Armenia is the building of a big brand new state-of-the-art national stadium.”
“FIFA will be on your side in this exciting project, which will be much more than just a stadium – it will be a landmark of the country, it will be a place that shows to the entire world how beautiful, how modern, how future-orientated Armenia is. A project to be proud of.”