The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) marked its 100th anniversary this week, with president Fernando Gomes announcing a series of events to celebrate its centenary year.
A mass at Lisbon Cathedral heralded the official start of festivities, commemorating "all those who are gone and have a place in FPF history". Originally known as the Portuguese Football Union, the FPF was founded on 31 March 1914 with the merger of the local associations in Lisbon, Porto and Portalegre. A FIFA member since 1923, it became the FPF in 1926 and was among the founder members of UEFA in 1954.
Eager to "pay tribute to the past and, at the same time, look to the future", the FPF's first major celebration will come on 31 May when the national team take on Greece in a centenary match, which will be the last friendly encounter for Paulo Bento's side before they head to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup finals. It will be staged at the 70-year-old National Stadium – where Portugal have not played for 11 years – and will double as a tribute to striking legend Eusébio, who died on 5 January.
Another substantial highlight will be the finals of the UEFA Women's Champions League and UEFA Champions League, the latter being held at Lisbon's Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica on 24 May. Gomes said: "Our biggest challenge and, maybe, the pinnacle of the celebrations, will be hosting the Champions League final. It will be an organisational challenge without precedent for us in terms of just one game."
Other planned events include:
April 2014/March 2015: Game of the Century
Between April and November 2014, the FPF will transform 20 amateur games into major spectacles without notice, bringing in top referees, technical observers and even cheerleaders; one player from each of these matches will then be selected to play in the Game of the Century against a team of former internationals and other famous sportspeople.
May 2014: 75th Portuguese Cup final
To signal the 75th edition of the competition, the first few minutes of this year's final will be broadcast in black and white by state broadcaster RTP.
May 2014: Commemorative Dinner
UEFA President Michel Platini is among the footballing dignitaries invited to attend this gala event in Champions Week to celebrate the men's and women's finals being played in Lisbon.
September to November 2014: 'One Century Of History' conferences
In cooperation with Lisbon University's human motricity faculty, the FPF will present a series of expert debates, covering topics like healthcare, leadership, player development, footballing law and stadia.
November 2014: FPF Congress
Two and a half days of presentations on subjects such as national-team selection, training methods and football medicine will mark the first congress, which will become a regular biennial event.
December 2014: Gala Quinas de Ouro (Golden Shields Gala)
A celebration of the FPF and Portuguese football history, it will include the first edition of the Golden Shield Awards which will recognise the great personalities in Portuguese football.
January 2015: City of Football
Work will begin on the FPF's new training facility, located in Jamor, near the National Stadium, which will be used by all Portuguese national teams once it opens in April 2016. Funding from the UEFA HatTrick programme is helping towards the construction of the centre.
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