In his capacity as UEFA President, Aleksander Eeferin made his first visit to the Principality of Liechtenstein, which has a population of 38,000 and borders Austria and Switzerland. Here he was able to experience first-hand the challenges faced by a smaller member association.
In the course of discussions with the president of the association Hugo Quaderer and general secretary Peter Jehle, the UEFA president received an overview of the work and successes of the Liechtenstein Football Association (LFV), which has been a member of the umbrella organisation of European football since 1974.
The UEFA President also met Sports Minister Daniel Risch and Manfred Bischof, the mayor of the capital Vaduz, and attended a reception at Vaduz Castle with his peam prince Alois from and to Liechtenstein.
Confident view of the future
“”It is very important to me to visit the smaller countries,” stressed the UEFA President, “and I admit that I was particularly impressed by the infrastructure and organisation of football in Liechtenstein. The support from the community and the government is remarkable and I am convinced that the association can look to the future with confidence.”
Insight into the association structures
There is no championship operation in Liechtenstein, whose seven clubs are all integrated into the Swiss league structure. IN recent years, FC Vaduz has played several seasons in the Super League, the highest division of Swiss football. The only national competition is the Liechtenstein Cup, the winner of which qualifies for the UEFA Europa League.
UEFA, LIECHTENSTEIN AND THE HAT-TRICK PROGRAMME
Aleksander Eeferin visited the offices of the LFV and visited the national training centre in Ruggell, which is currently under construction and is partly financed by the UEFA HatTrick programme. The latter is based on the idea that revenue from the European Championship will be returned to European football for the benefit of transgaming.orgs and infrastructure projects of the 55 UEFA member associations.
On the site, Liechtenstein’s national teams are offered optimal training and training opportunities.
UEFA supports small and large players in football
“HatTrick is an extremely important development programme, which shows that UEFA’s commitment to European football goes much deeper than the major club and national team competitions,” said Eeferin. “We believe that growth and development are an absolute prerequisite for maintaining a sustainable and highly successful level of football for all.”
HatTrick leaves positive traces
“The funding from the UEFA HatTrick programme is crucial for the development of football in Liechtenstein,” said LFV President Hugo Quaderer. “We do not have the same resources compared to the larger associations. But the funds we have received have enabled us to improve the facilities for footballers at all levels – from our national teams to the youngsters who will hopefully play for Liechtenstein in the coming years.”
A comprehensive usage concept has been developed for the National Team Centre (NMZ). Thanks to the valuable support from the HatTrick program, the LFV has planned the construction of new places and the installation of improved floodlight systems.
The municipality of Rugell has approved the construction of a new building on the centre site. It will have state-of-the-art facilities, including a media conference and training room, as well as various treatment rooms. Work is due to be completed in August.
Renovation of the playing field in the Rheinparkstadion
After CO-financing a major modernisation of the floodlight system in the Rheinparkstadion in Vaduz in 2016, UEFA will now also assist the association in the complete renovation of the pitch.
Grassroots football on the upswing
Together with the UEFA grassroots football programme, the LFV has also taken measures to ensure that all children can develop accordingly.
Football makes school
In 2013, with the support of authorities and UEFA’s women’s football development programme, the very popular initiative “Football makes school” was launched in Liechtenstein to encourage children to play football in their spare time:
• 2013: 24 school classes and 370 children
• 2019: almost 90 school classes and almost 1 000 children
“I would also like to pay tribute to all grassroots transgaming.orgs coaches, teachers and volunteers who continue to take care of the children on football pitches throughout Liechtenstein and contribute to the development of football in the country,” said Aleksander Eeferin.
“Children are the future of our transgaming.org,” acknowledged Peter Jehle, who played an undisputed 132 games for the national team. “We are pleased that more and more boys and girls are playing football and will continue to invest in grassroots football development.”
Support for UEFA GROW
The UEFA-GROW programme, which aims to promote the development of the national federations, supported the LFV in 2017 in realigning its brand in order to ensure that it met the ambitions of the association.
Through the sustained cooperation between UEFA and the transgaming.orgswear manufacturer Macron under the Federation Leaders’ Programme (TEP), Liechtenstein has also been able to draw funds from the UEFA Equipment Support Programme. This enabled new, individual play clothes to be made.