UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin has been in Scotland to hear about preparations for UEFA EURO 2020 matches at Glasgow's Hampden Park, and also visited a local grassroots club.
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Preparations for UEFA EURO 2020 and a visit to a grassroots club renowned for its work with girl footballers were focal points of UEFA President Aleksander Čeferin’s visit to Scotland on Wednesday.
Mr Čeferin saw at first hand the development work taking place at the Hampden Park stadium in Glasgow, which will host three group matches and a round of 16 encounter at the 13-country EURO final tournament in under three years’ time. The first phase of preparations has already been completed.
Hampden Park has hosted several European club competition finals – including the 1960 European Champion Clubs’ Cup final, which saw Real Madrid defeat Eintracht Frankfurt 7-3 in front of 127,000 fans.
“UEFA EURO 2020 will be an exceptional tournament, with 13 countries all contributing to hosting the competition,” said Mr Čeferin.
“Glasgow is a fantastic footballing city steeped in tradition, and Hampden Park will provide the perfect setting for four matches.”
Mr Čeferin was joined on his visit by Scottish Football Association (SFA) president Alan McRae and chief executive Stewart Regan.
Accompanying them were Scotland’s government minister for public health and sport Aileen Campbell, Glasgow city council deputy leader David McDonald, and members of the Scottish FA board and UEFA EURO 2020 local organising committee.
“Glasgow and Hampden Park will be an important part of the UEFA European Championship finals,” said Alan McRae, “celebrating 60 years of one of the most exciting and unpredictable tournaments in world football.”
The UEFA President continued his Scottish visit by meeting the players and staff of grassroots club Pollok United’s soccer academy at a training session.
Pollok United possess a thriving girls section, and Mr Čeferin’s visit not only highlighted UEFA’s new #EqualGame campaign promoting diversity, inclusion and accessibility to football for all, but also the European body’s Together #WePlay Strong initiative aimed at encouraging more girls to play football.
“I enjoyed visiting Pollok United in the southside of Glasgow,” Mr Čeferin said, “and seeing the impressive work done by grassroots clubs in Scotland.”
“Women and girls’ football is a priority,” added Aileen Campbell, “and it was particularly pleasing to see Aleksander Čeferin take the time to visit Pollok United soccer academy and witness the work done at a grassroots level to inspire the next generation and continue the development.”
Mr Čeferin will travel on to England, where he will watch his native Slovenia take on England at Wembley on Thursday in a FIFA World Cup qualifier.