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Developing football in Andorra

The Andorran Football Federation was founded in 1994 after political developments in the region resulted in independence for the eastern Pyrenean state.

Andorra players ahead of a U19 Futsal EURO qualifier
Andorra players ahead of a U19 Futsal EURO qualifier Pruccoli

 

Overview

The Andorran Football Federation (FAF) sees its biggest current mission as bringing the public closer to the game and encouraging higher attendances at club and national-team matches; a strong media and social media strategy is also helping to drive growing attendances at stadiums.

A new national strategy established goals for the association, with key targets including:

  • Developing a marketing campaign (referees and coaches)
  • Organising capacity-building and knowledge-exchange sessions between senior clubs and association staff
  • Developing an event and fan-engagement plan for men’s and women’s national team games.

Important steps towards encouraging interest in the women’s team have come through the creation of FAF-run social media profiles for the players, regular news updates via the FAF’s website and the streaming of national team games. The same communications strategy is now being used for both the men’s and women’s teams.

"We have created the 2021-24 Strategic Plan to focus on transparency, and the improvement of our infrastructure and our human resources. The Strategic Plan represents our commitment to continuing to grow as an organisation. It’s a significant and ambitious plan which will bring qualitative and quantitative improvement.”

Felix Álvarez, FAF president

"We want football to have a positive impact on society. The Strategic Plan includes improvements at national and international level, with the aim of improving our place in the world ranking."

David Rodrigo, FAF general secretary

UEFA support

UEFA’s HatTrick programme, which channels EURO funds into football development across Europe, has helped the FAF to make major improvements to Andorra’s footballing infrastructure.

HatTrick funding underpinned the construction of the FAF Football Village at La Massana, not far from Andorra La Vella, which includes a full-sized artificial pitch plus futsal arena and a mini-pitch, with dressing rooms, a gym, medical and meeting rooms.

The FAF National Training Centre, located in the centre of Andorra La Vella, also received UEFA support. It comprises two artificial pitches with a floodlight system, as well as dressing rooms, a gymnasium, a medical room and stands for spectators. UEFA will also help with the construction of a new national stadium and home for the FAF at Encamp.

Association history

1994 The Andorran Football Federation (FAF) is founded on 21 April just over a year after the eastern Pyrenean state gains independence, following seven centuries under the joint jurisdiction of France and the Spanish diocese of Seo de Urgell. 1996 The FAF is admitted to FIFA and UEFA under the leadership of the FAF's founding president Fransesc Vila, who would pass away four years later at the age of 35. 1997 CE Principat become the first Andorran club to compete in a European competition, featuring in the first qualifying round of the 1997/98 UEFA Cup. 1998 The national football school, the ENFAF, opens its doors for the first time in August, its work in coaching the next generation of players later complemented with the opening of the Centro Deportivo de Alás, which focuses on instilling sporting values. 2007 In the same season as the Primera Divisió champions enter UEFA Champions League qualifying for the first time, FC Santa Coloma’s 1-0 first-leg success at home to Israeli outfit Maccabi Tel-Aviv in the UEFA Cup first qualifying round on 19 July 2007 becomes the first win for an Andorran side in European club competition. 2009 Sant Julià become the first side from the principality to win a European tie, overcoming San Marino’s SP Tre Fiori on penalties in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League first qualifying round. 2013 The FAF launches Andorra’s first youth league for girls in April 2013. The league comprises seven teams and is a major step toward the establishment of a senior women’s national team. 2014 The Estadi Nacional d'Andorra opens for business for a 2-1 defeat against Wales in a UEFA EURO 2016 qualifier. The government-owned home of Andorra’s national football and rugby teams stands on the site of the old Camp d'Esports del M.I. Consell General. Present day

National team history

1998 The national team make their competitive debut in the UEFA EURO 2000 qualifying competition, beginning with a 3-1 defeat in Armenia on 5 September 1998. Jesús Lucendo scores their first competitive goal. 2004 Marc Bernaus is the history-making marksman on 13 October 2004 as the national team claim their first competitive victory, beating North Macedonia 1-0 in a FIFA World Cup qualifier in the capital, Andorra La Vella. 2015 Óscar Sonejee becomes the first Andorran player to win 100 international caps, reaching his century in a June friendly against Equatorial Guinea; he retires in 2016 after 106 matches. 2015 A year after debuting with a 1-0 friendly win against Gibraltar, Andorra’s women make their competitive debut in the preliminary round of Women’s EURO 2017. Present day

Felix Álvarez
Felix Álvarez©FAF

President

Felix Álvarez

Nationality: Andorran
Date of birth: 7 October 1966
Association president since: 2019 

David Rodrigo Lo
David Rodrigo LoFAF

General secretary

David Rodrigo Lo

Nationality: Andorran
Date of birth: 8 May 1968
General Secretary since: 2020

Andorran Football Federation website