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The President of International Federation of Association Football (FIFA), mister Gianni Infantino has, in interview for the official website of Football Federation of Serbia, spoken about the importance of the support, that Serbian Football Federation President Karadžić and the FSS have issued during his candidacy for the role of the new President of FIFA, the organization and work of Serbian House of Football, the picture from Belgrade, that reached the entire World after Serbia have won the trophy in New Zealand, the need for construction of the new national football stadium, but also about the strategic goals of FIFA under his leadership.
The Football Association of Serbia was among the first to publicly give you support in your campaign for the FIFA president. How much have all of that meant to you?
-The support I received from the Football Association of Serbia meant a lot to me as I could realise from the very beginning that we share a vision and a strong commitment towards the sport we love. While I would like to thank again the Serbian FA and its President, Mr Karadzic, as FIFA President I’m of course fully committed to work with and for all 209 FIFA member associations.
You had the opportunity to visit our unique Sports Center in StaraPazova, as well as to get familiar with organization and work of the Football Association of Serbia. Looking at those parameters, what is the current position of the Football Association of Serbia in comparison to the other football associations in Europe?
-The Sports Center of the Football Association of Serbia is a landmark project that for sure has provided Serbian football with a great tool to further develop football at all levels. The development of football is FIFA’s primary mission. The same goes for every FIFA member association. This is why it is so important for football that such facilities are being built, especially for the youth. As far as the organization of the Serbian FA is concerned, I could witness in my time at UEFA how efficient it is.
Serbia won the FIFA U-20 World Cup 2015 that was held in New Zealand, while more than 100.000 people went out on the streets of Belgrade to celebrate that success. It was a picture that quickly circled the globe. How did it look for you?
-Winning a FIFA World Cup, in any category, can only be achieved with a lot of hard work. Serbia’s victory at the FIFA U-20 World Cup last year was the result of the great work done at youth level by the Football Association of Serbia. Congratulations to all involved! This is very encouraging and promising for the future of Serbian football. I’m looking forward to see these players performing at the next level.
The next major project of the Football Association of Serbia is building the national stadium. How important is it for the development of Serbian football?
-As I mentioned earlier, good infrastructure is fundamental when it comes to football development. The building of the national stadium could be considered as the next step towards the improvement of Serbia’s football infrastructure following the work done at Stara Pazova. Modern stadiums provide better conditions and therefore help welcoming more fans, in particular families. This is an additional tool to boost the success and the promotion of the Game.
In what direction will FIFA go under your guidance and what are the most important strategic goals?
-The implementation of the reforms approved by the Congress on 26 February is a key priority. Furthermore, I want to substantially increase the budget for football development for the 2015-2018 period by USD 517 million (from USD 900 million to USD 1,417 million). By doing so, FIFA will be in a position to help its Member Associations, even better than now, to develop football. I want to give more participation and involvement to the various football stakeholders into FIFA’s work. Overall, I want that FIFA’s full focus is onto FOOTBALL. And make the football community feel proud of FIFA.