The Football Association of Serbia (FSS) is organising its first final tournament in the shape of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship from 3 to 15 May. The body's president Tomislav Karadžić sees the event as a staging post for the future – on and off the pitch.
Denmark, England, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Romania will be competing with the host nation for the trophy in Novi Sad, Indjija, Smederevo and Belgrade. Karadžić told UEFA.com: "As it is the first time Serbia has hosted such a tournament, it is a great challenge for all who work in youth football to put on the best show we can.
"Everyone in the FA of Serbia has enough ability to show we can organise a tournament in the best way and show all of Europe that we are able to organise these tournaments. We would like to host other tournaments in the future."
There is also a cultural aspect to the tournament, with the Stronger Together project involving children in a campaign against racism, chauvinism and intolerance. "We are working with Serbian schools and other youth groups," Karadžić said. "We hope in this way we can show everybody that there is a better side to football."
As for the Serbia team itself, Karadžić has high hopes. "We have been preparing very hard for this tournament," he said. "We have a good head coach and a very good team and I expect them to get good results in this tournament.
"At the moment we are not getting great results in EURO 2012 qualifying. We have to offer something to the nation to try and give them hope for a better future. This tournament, combined with how other youth teams are doing in their qualification, gives us something in case we miss out on EURO 2012."
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