First of a series
The mini-pitch, built by UEFA and the Turkish Football Association (TFF), is the first in a series of 100 planned by the TFF in the coming year. Representation at the ceremony underlined the importance given to football and youngsters in Turkey.
Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a former footballer himself, not only attended the ceremony, but watched the action on the pitch too. Erdogan stressed that the government's support for sports and youth development will continue to gather pace. UEFA vice-president Şenes Erzik, state minister for youth and sports Mehmet Ali Şahin, and TFF president Levent Bicakci also attended the event.
UEFA's HatTrick Board decided to offer a prototype mini-pitch to each UEFA member association as European football's governing body celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 2004. The mini-pitches should be installed near the association's headquarters and possibly close to, or on the premises of, a school.
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