UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has visited Bulgaria - describing it as "a true country of football" - to hear about plans to develop the domestic game in a wide range of areas.
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UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has continued his journey around Europe’s national football associations with a visit to Bulgaria.
Mr Čeferin and senior UEFA representatives held talks on Monday with officials from the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) on a variety of topics, including the development of professional, amateur and youth football, as well as football infrastructures in Bulgarian municipalities.
The UEFA President also met Bulgaria’s prime minister Boyko Borissov, as well as the mayors of the municipalities where investments are planned, and who have promised their support.
“The Bulgarian Football Union, the state and the local authorities want to support the game of football, and they cooperate very well on this matter,” said Mr Čeferin.
“Bulgaria is a true country of football,” he added. “It has one of the most beautiful training centres in Europe, and the development of the infrastructures has been very good.”
Funding through the UEFA HatTrick assistance programme helped the Bulgarian Football Union build its new national football centre, which was opened in November 2016.
Mr Čeferin congratulated the BFU president Borislav Mihaylov for the work being undertaken to develop football in Bulgaria.
“Borislav is a veteran of the UEFA Executive Committee. I know how hard he is working for the welfare of the game,” he said.
Mr Mihaylov highlighted the BFU’s future development plans, which will also be funded through the HatTrick scheme which is now in its fourth four-year cycle.
“We are preparing major investments thanks to HatTrick VI,” he explained. “We will invest these funds where they are most needed - in academies, pitches, mini-pitches and stadium infrastructure.”