Zoran Laković has had the rare experience of being involved in the organisation of UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 on both sides.
Previously general secretary of the Football Association of Serbia (FSS), who have been hosting the tournament, Laković recently joined UEFA’s national associations department. He spoke to UEFA.com about the organisation of the tournament, and the achievement of the hosts in staging a successful event.
UEFA.com: You have been organising this tournament with the FSS, now you have been enjoying it in your UEFA role…
Laković: Yes, I have been in a very specific situation here. This tournament was one of my last big projects at the FSS, and now I have been here on behalf of UEFA. I am delighted with all that has happened here, and how this tournament was prepared.
UEFA.com: The Belgrade tournament has beaten attendance records for European futsal...you are probably proud of how this has worked out.
Laković: We feel that we have raised the level of the Futsal EURO. These really big achievements have been the result of great work by everyone involved in the organisation here. This EURO has smashed the record for spectators, as well as for live TV audiences. The whole of Serbia, and Belgrade as a host city, will benefit from this tournament, because the promotion of the country has been huge.
UEFA.com: From your point of view, is Serbia prepared to host some of the biggest UEFA football matches and tournaments?
Laković: The cooperation between the FSS and UEFA has actually been amazing in recent years. We are proud of projects such as the building of the national football centre in Stara Pazova, as well as many infrastructure projects in stadiums, especially the floodlighting systems around Serbia, and the many artificial pitches and football infrastructures for children and youngsters. The FSS is keen to organise other European final tournaments in the coming years.
UEFA.com: Futsal has taken over Serbia in recent weeks. Can it become even more popular?
Laković: Absolutely. Everybody is talking about futsal in Serbia now. Ive been told, for instance, that Ricardinho's goal [for Portugal] against Serbia was one of five most viewed and shared videos by all social media on that day around the world, and of course in Serbia too. Our national team deserves every support, and I am sure that Serbian futsal can only grow in terms of quality and popularity.
UEFA.com: You have now been at UEFA for half a year. How have you got used to working and living in Nyon?
Laković: For me, it was very welcome that I worked as general secretary of the FSS for some years with many UEFA people. Now I can confirm that UEFA is very well-organised, with a lot of experts in many fields. I am delighted that I can be a part of this football family.
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