The relationship between UEFA and the Faroe Islands Football Association (FSF) has been further bolstered by a visit from UEFA's president Michel Platini – who was not only a keen observer of a grassroots football training session but also a guest at the final league match of the season in which HB Tórshavn retained the Faroese domestic title.
Talks between Mr Platini – on his first visit to the country as UEFA president – and representatives of the FSF centred on football developments in the Faroe Islands, and the vital support given to the association by UEFA as part of its HatTrick assistance programme. "UEFA's help is greatly important," said FSF president Christian Andreasen, "because it is often difficult for a smaller association to finance projects alone."
UEFA's assistance is helping the Faroe Islands' passionate football community address in particular the issue of indoor halls – essential for a country with lengthy winters to enable footballers to continue playing the game – and to improve facilities at the national stadium. Mr Platini also took the opportunity to emphasise the HatTrick scheme's core value. "There are no large and small associations, just member associations of UEFA," he explained. Mr Platini was accompanied to the Faroe Islands by Allan Hansen, UEFA Executive Committee member and chairman of the UEFA HatTrick Committee.
Excellent discussions took place with the Faroe Islands' prime minister Kaj Leo Johannesen, sports minister Helena Dam á Neystabø and the mayor of Torshavn, Heðin Mortensen. Mr Johannesen played on seven occasions as a goalkeeper for the Faroe Islands national team in international matches and won several domestic honours with HB, for whom he holds the club appearance record. He was a Faroe Islands squad member at the time the national side sensationally beat Austria 1-0 in a UEFA European Football Championship qualifier in 1990.
Football on the field was also on the agenda during Mr Platini's trip. Dozens of youngsters met the UEFA president at a grassroots event, and Mr Platini then went on to witness a gripping end to the Faroe Islands' domestic league season. HB clinched their 21st Faroese title after a 2-1 win against local rivals B36 Tórshavn – and the UEFA president was on hand to present the championship trophy and medals.
©UEFA.com 1998-2013. All rights reserved.