Finnish FA Celebrates Centenary
A FIFA delegation including President Joseph S. Blatter, Vice-President Michel Platini and General Secretary Jerome Valcke helped the Finnish FA celebrate its centenary on 18 September 2007. The trio were greeted in Finland by the President of the Finnish FA, Pekka Hamalainen, before being whisked off to the Finnair Stadium where the FIFA President addressed the coaches who were attending the 28lh UEFT Symposium under the chairmanship of Dr Jozef Venglos. The FIFA President gave a short speech in which he underlined the importance of coaching in educating young players. Next up was a visit to “Europe House”, the EU embassy in Helsinki, where the former captain of Finland’s women’s national team, Christina Forssell, and the current captain of the men’s national team, Jari Litmanen, unveiled a plaque to mark the spot where the Finnish FA was founded in 1907. There was also an official reception with six young Finnish players participating in a spectacular skills contest. Members of the jury included Platini, Venglos, Blatter and Roy Hodgson, the English coach of Finland’s national team. In addition, long-serving UEFA President and Honorary FIFA President Lennart Johansson was granted honorary membership of the Finnish FA together with Platini and Blatter. The three men are the first honorary members of the association. To round off the evening, Hamalainen and Blatter sang The Fair Play Game, a song composed by the Finnish FA President in 2003 for the FIFA U-17 World Cup.