During his trip to San Marino, UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin pledged UEFA's full support in helping football in the republic make constant progress, in particular, through the UEFA HatTrick and GROW assistance programmes.
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UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has made his first visit to San Marino.
Mr Čeferin met senior San Marino government officials, as well as representatives of the San Marino Football Federation (FSGC) – and praised the national association for its tireless efforts to develop football in the republic of just over 33,000 inhabitants.
He held talks with FSGC president Marco Tura and general secretary Luigi Zafferani centring, among other things, on UEFA’s sporting and infrastructure help to San Marino as part of the HatTrick assistance programme.
Mr Čeferin was accompanied on his visit by UEFA vice-president Michele Uva, as well as the European governing body’s directors of competitions and national associations respectively, Giorgio Marchetti and Zoran Laković.
“We have a fantastic relationship with the Football Federation of San Marino,” Mr Čeferin said, “and I’m pleased that football in San Marino is improving every day. We want to do everything possible to help continue this positive trend.” The UEFA President welcomed the particular efforts being made in the republic to ensure that children had facilities and space to play football.
San Marino’s national stadium is set to stage matches in the European Under-21 Championship final round in 2019, which will be hosted by Italy. “This will be an extremely important event as far as the popularity of football in San Marino is concerned,” Mr Čeferin reflected.
San Marino recently hosted a workshop under the auspices of the UEFA GROW programme which provides strategic support for European associations.
A strategic plan is being developed for San Marino with the emphasis on fostering grassroots football and participation in the game, nurturing the FSGC’s brand and image, expanding digital communications possibilities and looking at ways of maximising various channels of revenue.
“We are very honoured by this visit,” said Mr Tura, “because it consolidates the friendship and mutual respect that has grown over time.”
Mr Čeferin and the UEFA delegation were welcomed at the San Marino seat of government, the Palazzo Publicco, by the republic’s two heads of state, Captains Regent Mimma Zavoli and Vanessa D’Ambrosio, as well as the state secretary for sport Marco Podeschi.
The heads of state welcomed the positive relations between UEFA and the FSGC, recognising football and sport as “a fundamental component of society and an important social force and source of enjoyment.”