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Developing football in Moldova

The Football Association of Moldova is looking to develop the game from the grassroots upwards.

Fledgling Moldovan game flourishing
Fledgling Moldovan game flourishing ©FMF

Overview

The Football Association of Moldova (Federaţia Moldovenească de Fotbal or FMF) was founded on 14 April 1990 – but the country's footballing story stretches back far beyond that date.

As Moldova was one of the 15 Soviet Socialist Republics of the USSR, its local association had been part of the USSR Football Federation. Initially, the task for the newly established FMF was threefold:

  • to organise an independent domestic championship;
  • to join the international football community; and
  • to create the necessary conditions for a successful national team.

The FMF is currently implementing a new strategy which runs until 2024 and has four key pillars:

  • Grassroots football – increasing the participation rates of amateur football and improving its organisation.
  • National teams – enhancing the system of training of football players representing the country at international level.
  • Men’s league – setting up a quality and attractive internal competition, raising the interest of spectators and investors.
  • Women’s football – developing of women’s football across Moldova.

The FMF focus is particularly on grassroots football, showcased by their current motto – "Children are our future."

The FMF has successfully launched the Football in Schools project, which is the largest project ever initiated by FMF. The project has helped shape the curriculum of primary school students across 200 schools, ensuring that students now play a minimum of two hours of football per week.

UEFA Support

The UEFA HatTrick programme, which plays a key role in guaranteeing UEFA invests as much income as possible for the benefit of the European game, has helped the FMF immeasurably; with UEFA’s support, the FMF has built approximately 500 pitches of different sizes across Moldova. HatTrick funding has also contributed to the installation of floodlights, irrigation systems and turf maintenance at stadiums across the country.

UEFA Foundation for Children in Moldova

Set up in 2015, the UEFA foundation uses football as a vehicle to help improve children’s lives by supporting hundreds of campaigns and projects across Europe and around the world.

Let's Play Outside

In 2021, the UEFA Foundation for Children awarded €47,000 to the FMF for a project titled ‘Let’s Play Outside’ in the municipality of Chadyr-Lunga. The project's target area has a population of 4,000 (a quarter of the town's overall population), but it has no modern sports facilities. The funding will be used to provide football facilities, access to sports and extracurricular activities for 700 children who attend the local secondary school (Lyceum N2) and two nearby kindergartens.

Timeline

Association history

1960-1990: Moldova part of the Soviet Union and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
1990: The Football Association of Moldova founded.
1991: Moldova asserts its sporting autonomy when the national side make their debut by playing a friendly against Georgia on 2 July 1991.
1993-94: Moldova gains UEFA and FIFA membership.
2002: Men's Under-17s qualify for European finals.
2008: Moldova achieve their highest FIFA world ranking – 37th.
2021: Sheriff become the first team representing Moldova to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage after a 3–0 aggregate win over Dinamo Zagreb.

Leonid Oleinicenco
Leonid Oleinicenco©FMF

President

Leonid Oleinicenco

 Nationality: Moldovan
Date of birth: 14 December 1981
Association president since: 2019

 

Nicolai Cebotari
Nicolai Cebotari©UEFA.com

General secretary

Nicolai Cebotari

Nationality: Moldovan
Date of birth: 21 May 1958
Association general secretary since: 1998