The Football Association of Albania (FShF) has implemented a new organisational structure for 2011.
It has restructured and strengthened its technical, competitions and refereeing sectors and created new departments such as marketing, legal affairs and licensing, and human resources. But the most significant change is the establishment of six regional offices: based in Tirana, Durres, Shkoder, Elbasan, Korce and Fier.
The main reason for the FShF executive committee's decision is its desire to help the general secretariat to cope with an increased volume of work and activities and to meet ambitious objectives set for 2014. The aim is to increase the popularity of football on a massive scale, as well as to improve standards within the game.
For example, the association's objective is to double the current number of youth teams and players by 2014. Albania's signing of the UEFA Grassroots Charter and the construction of several artificial pitches through UEFA's HatTrick programme have helped the association to gain momentum and given it a good chance of success.
Furthermore, the FShF is preparing to launch an intensive, long-term programme in collaboration with primary and secondary schools all over the country. Negotiations with the government to include football in the primary school curriculum have progressed and if successful will be a massive step forward for the Albanian game.
As a first, immediate measure, several local and regional tournaments for secondary school teams are starting up this year. Another initiative to develop football on a large scale is the launch of the country's first local tournaments for over-35s.
Achieving these objectives, at the same time as organising other regular activities, requires additional, qualified staff and a constant presence in the regions. The creation of regional offices will bring the association closer to clubs, youth teams, schools and all others involved in football activities in Albania.
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