FIFA is pleased with works that have been conducted on the Greenland Football stadium; both FIFA President Gianni Infantino, and the FIFA Vice-president/CONCACAF President Victor Montagliani said that they were impressed with the development of the project.
Both FIFA top officials arrived in the Territory on Sunday as part of a small delegation and were greeted by members of Government, the BVI Football Association and other sports enthusiasts in the Territory.
Infantino and Montagliani’s visit was part of the FIFA leadership’s tour of the Caribbean. During the press conference that was held at Village Cay it was announced that this is the first time someone at the Organization’s. presidential level visited the Territory.
In his address to the media the FIFA President said that he was pleased with what he saw on the tour of the Greenland facility. He noted that he was especially happy to hear of the new phase of the work that is to commence and about the link the facility and the Association has with the communityand schools.
Infantino – who is also a lawyer – explained that FIFA treats all of its members the same. “When I hear that it’s not for FIFA President to come to such a small country – it’s what I love to do, what I have to do. This is our passion, our work and to be able to see committed people here putting in place our dreams and our vision that is the reward that we need … to invest more financially but also emotionally and that’s why I am proud to be here,” he said.
“I think one of the strengths and the key for success of FIFA is in FIFA we have 211 members — member associations, member countries and they are all truly fantastic and this is how the world should be,” Infantino added.
Meanwhile, the Vice President of FIFA and President of CONCACAF Montagliani said that he was also pleased to see the great progress that has been made so far. “I know that they are aggressively working to finish… I think once it’s done it would be fantastic not only for BVI football but for the community itself, so yes I am very satisfied with the progress and also the upcoming plans,” he said.
Infantino and Montagliani agreed to return to the Territory for the opening of the stadium. Premier and Minister for Finance Hon. Andrew Fahie mentioned that the inauguration will take place within two years.
Hon. Fahie who noted that the project commenced under the previous administration said that he appreciates the visit of FIFA’s top officials and noted that the Greenland Project goes beyond politics. “FIFA is one of those organizations that transcends politics and the Minister of Education has already stated to me how much money is needed for the track..l am really glad that government after government has taken football on seriously,” Hon. Fahie said
The Premier further explained that another phase of the stadium construction would be moving forward after the hurricane season is completed. “Within a two year period we’ll be able to turn over the full facility and have a grand opening ceremony.”
The BVI Leader also lauded the work and contributions that have been made over the years by BVI Football Association President Andy Bickerton for his commitment to the development of the sport in the Territory.
In his statement Minister for Sports Dr The Hon. Natalio Wheatley said that he sees himself as very fortunate to come into office at a time when so many special things are taking place. “FIFA is a massive organization it is one of the largest organizations in the world.”
The Minister said that FIFA ought to be applauded for its agreement to fund the facility. “I am searching my mind to see if any other international organization has made such a massive contribution to the BVI in terms of dollars and cents and all of the technical support that we have had,” the Minister said.
Meanwhile, the BVI Football Association President thanked Infantino for agreeing to visit the Territory. Mr. Bickerton also mentioned that the Association was severely affected by the 2017 hurricanes: “We all know that we suffered from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017 and we’ve come to the stage where we cannot blame hurricanes Irma and Maria for any problem. We as an Association have had to cope with the fact that we lost everything — our offices were completely devastated there was nothing left,” he said.