FIFA president Gianni Infantino has called for a new national football stadium to be built in Kyrgyzstan to aid the development of the sport in the Central Asian country.
Infantino met Kyrgyzstan President Sadyr Japarov in the capital city of Bishkek on the fourth leg of his tour of Central Asian member associations.
As well as opening a new office for the Kyrgyz Football Union (KFU), Infantino discussed ongoing and future projects in the country supported by the FIFA Forward Initiative.
Kyrgyzstan’s national team currently sits 96th in the FIFA rankings but it does not have its own dedicated stadium. The team plays matches at the Dolen Omurzakov Stadium in Bishkek but the venue is also used by local clubs Dordoi Bishkek and Alga Bishkek.
“Today, we are here for the grand opening ceremony of these beautiful new headquarters of the Kyrgyz Football Union, which will be the heart of football in this country for the future,” Infantino said.
“And from here, together, we will invest and develop football all over the country with investment in infrastructure, technical centre, women’s football and Football for Schools. I’m looking forward to coming back to Kyrgyzstan to inaugurate many new projects for football, football academies but also a beautiful new, symbolic football stadium, a national stadium, which will make this country proud.”
Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Infantino added: “I spoke to the president about the national stadium of football. It is very important, symbolic, but crucial for the development, so we will bring more international games to Kyrgyzstan, and you will shine on the Asian stage and on the global stage.”
Kyrgyzstan reached the knockout stage of the 2019 Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates and has also qualified for next year’s event in Qatar.