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UEFA President visits Moldova

UEFA President Michel Platini went to Moldova to meet state leaders and Football Association of Moldova officials, and watched a UEFA international development tournament final.

Michel Platini in Moldova ©Boris Kharchenko

UEFA President Michel Platini has visited Moldova, where he met with state leaders and senior officials from the Football Association of Moldova (FMF), as well as attending the final of a UEFA international development tournament.

During his fourth official visit to the country, Mr Platini met the President of Moldova, Nicolae Timofti, and Prime Minister Vladimir Filat. Later on, he watched the final of a international women's Under-17 competition together with FMF president Pavel Cebanu.

"Pavel Cebanu's team is implementing a lot of projects, and is actively promoting grassroots football. We can only salute this," said Mr Platini at his meeting with Mr Timofti, who had previously led different FMF committees before being elected as the country's president less than a month ago.

Timofti expressed his interest in the promotion of football in Moldova. Both presidents discussed the issue of match-fixing. "This is an extremely important issue," said Mr Platini. "We are informed about it and I hope that state governments and other authorities will help us to tackle this problem."

The UEFA President moved on to the national teams' training centre at Vadul lui Voda, where he watched the final of the women's tournament. The development tournaments, which have been taking place in various countries this spring, are genuine learning experiences for the players – not just in fine-tuning skills through practice and guidance, but also in allowing them to appreciate an international and highly competitive environment.

"This is a great tournament to develop women's football. I was pleased by the level of organisation and the atmosphere at the stadium," said Mr Platini, who presented the trophy to the Romanian national team after their win over Moldova in a penalty shoot-out.

Prime Minister Filat, who celebrated his 43rd birthday on Sunday, received a personal gift from Michel Platini - a football shirt with the No10. "I am glad to visit Moldova once again, and I am happy that UEFA has helped the FMF to build such a wonderful training centre," said the UEFA President. "I hope that it will bring results on the football pitch soon enough."

Mr Platini has travelled on to Bucharest, where he will watch Wednesday's UEFA Europa League final between Club Atlético de Madrid and Athletic Club at the Romanian capital's National Arena.