The Slovak Football Association (SFS) has received a mini-pitch as a Jubilee gift from UEFA. The mini-pitch has been constructed under the auspices of the UEFA HatTrick assistance programme.
The mini-pitch in Bratislava was opened by UEFA Executive Committee member and honorary UEFA treasurer Mathieu Sprengers, in a ceremony also attended by SFS general secretary Dušan Tittel and Stanislav Kosorín, representing the Slovak ministry of education.
The pitch, which has dimensions of 21x13 metres, also has a 'godfather' - Róbert Tomaschek, the former Slovakian national-team captain, who took a shot at goal to christen the pitch.
UEFA's HatTrick Board has decided to offer a prototype mini-pitch to each UEFA member association, as European football's governing body celebrates its Golden Jubilee. The mini-pitch in question should be installed near to the association's headquarters and possibly close to, or on the premises of, a school.
Back to the streets
"This idea was created at the UEFA Congress in Rome last year, with the target being to bring football back to the streets, from which it had almost disappeared," said Dr Sprengers.
For the young
"We intend to build another 100 mini-pitches within all regions of our country. They are dedicated specifically to our young generation, and this is the reason why they will be built especially on the grounds of basic schools. This is not a simple task, as the construction of one mini-pitch costs around one million Slovak crowns," said Tittel. "However, the whole budget will be equally divided among the Slovak FA, UEFA, the Slovak ministry of education, local municipalities and partners of a particular project," he added.
A mini-tournament featuring young boys and a girls' match were staged after the opening ceremony, with international women's referee Alexandra Ihringová taking charge.
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