The FRF hopes that Romania's front-line role as a EURO 2020 host venue will boost its long-term plans to inspire a generation of new footballers to take up the game – regardless of ability, gender, ethnic background or location.
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The Romanian Football Federation (FRF) aims to increase the number of footballers across the nation to 300,000 – three times more than in 2014. Its tactics include:
- Strengthening infrastructure at all levels of the game, from upgrading the national team’s training facilities in Bucharest to building 400 new pitches and mini-pitches in cities and remote rural communities.
- Encouraging young girls and boys to play the game, regardless of their ability, background or location: the FRF has introduced school tournaments throughout the country to increase participation levels. The Village Cup, launched at Under-13 level in 2019, ensures these efforts stretch to even the remotest rural areas. Romanian children dreaming of a football future are inspired by the experience of goalkeeper Laurențiu Brănescu, who, within a few years of being scouted playing for his local village team, had signed for Juventus.
- Raising national visibility of the game: prior to its selection as a EURO 2020 host venue, Romania had never staged a major international sporting event. To capitalise on the competition’s visibility, the FRF has selected national sporting heroes to act as its EURO 2020 ambassadors. Miodrag Belodedici, Gabriela Szabo and Dorinel Munteanu are using their status to help raise public awareness, both of the tournament and the opportunities to play football in Romania, regardless of age, gender, ability or background.
In addition to hosting three group matches and a round of 16 fixture at UEFA EURO 2020, Bucharest’s 54,000-capacity National Arena, renovated between 2007 and 2011, has staged one other high-profile UEFA competition final: the 2012 UEFA Europa League final. The stadium will also co-host the Under-21 EURO in 2023 with Georgia.
UEFA’s HatTrick assistance programme, which channels EURO funds into football development across Europe, has helped the FRF lay solid foundations for increasing participation in youth, men's and women's football by contributing to national football infrastructure projects.
HatTrick funding has supported the creation of new facilities at all levels of football – from the elite national training centre in Mogosaia on the outskirts of Bucharest to new pitches and mini-pitches for grassroots football.
In October 2019, UEFA allocated more HatTrick funding for the provision of additional artificial pitches that ensure Romania's clubs can play all year round. The country's harsh winters historically rule out using grass pitches for up to four months of the year.
UEFA Foundation for Children in Romania
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.
Luncşoara Bihorului Association: Synthetic sports field
In partnership with the UEFA Foundation, Luncşoara Bihorului Association built a synthetic sport field in Western Romania in 2020. The field is utilised by local students for organised activities and provides a place for pupils and local young children to gather during their free time. Children play a range of sports on the new field including football, tennis and handball. Additionally, as the field is located in a remote, rural area, it encourages and assists the integration of the local community.
National team history
Date of birth: 1 July 1984
Association president since: 2014
Date of birth: 14 January 1981
Association general secretary since: 2015