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Harold Mayne-Nicholls, President of the Chilean football association and FIFA’s Goal Programme representative in South America, carried out an inspection visit to the site on which the Ecuadorian national team headquarters are to be built in Quito, Ecuador. Located in the Monte Olivo district, the long-awaited headquarters will house the training centre for the Ecuadorian national teams. Work has begun on filling and levelling the site. Inaugurated in 2004, the Ecuadorian House of Football (the association’s headquarters) is a modern building located in Guayaquil. Both construction projects were set in motion by the President of the Ecuadorian football association, Luis Chiriboga, who has been in office since 1998.

In Argentina, the Apertura Interior (Reaching out to the Provinces) project, launched by the Argentinian football association (AFA), has started to yield results sooner than expected. Two players from the association’s centres of excellence have been selected for the U-15 national team ahead of the next South American championship for that age category. Marcos de Martin, a forward from the city of Parana, Entre Rios, and Denis Oscar Gomez, a midfielder born in Resistencia, Chaco, have been called up by coach Hector Enrique. Under this project, centres for developing, training and spotting new talent are being established in various parts of the country. In view of Argentina’s vast size, the objective of the project is for the AFA’s technical teams to focus not only on Buenos Aires, but to travel to the provinces, where coordinators have been designated to select skilled young players and train them in their local areas. As well as Entre Rios and Chaco, the Apertura Interior initiative is being run in the provinces of Salta, Mendoza, Cordoba and Chubut, and there are plans to extend the project further.

Following Jorge Luis Pinto’s dismissal as coach of the Colombian national team, Eduardo Lara has been appointed as caretaker coach for the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifiers against Paraguay and Brazil Lara has been on the staff of the Colombian football association for a number of years and is in charge of the national youth teams.