On July 20, 2022, FEDOFUTBOL, the Dominican Football Federation, inaugurated its new headquarters at the Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Centre in the capital Santo Domingo. The event was attended by, among others, the President of the Dominican Republic, Luis Abinader, and FIFA executives, who witnessed the inauguration of a project that was supported to the tune of USD 973,412 by the FIFA Forward Programme.
While FIFA President Gianni Infantino was unable to attend the event in person, he nevertheless sent a video message expressing his delight at the completion of the project. “As you know, one of my main goals since being elected FIFA President in 2016 has been to promote development in FIFA’s 211 Member Associations, providing talent everywhere the opportunity to blossom and making national teams more competitive. Therefore, I am especially happy to be sending this message,” he said.
FEDOFUTBOL’s original headquarters and sports facilities were built back in 1973, but a lack of maintenance or renovation since then led to marked deterioration. Leaks, faults with the plumbing and electrical systems, damaged surfaces and inadequate office distribution were just some of the problems the Federation had to deal with day to day.
Consequently, FEDFUTBOL took the decision to request the assistance of FIFA through its Forward Development programme, seeking financial support and technical advice not just to remedy the aforementioned office problems, but also to upgrade the sports facilities at the complex. The objective was to create a dynamic environment and appropriate conditions for the federation’s staff to work in.
“It’s not about constructing a building per se, but rather laying the foundations to make history. These facilities will witness the growth of Dominican football. The dreams of thousands of the country’s male and female players, referees and coaches will be forged here. Within these walls, decisions will be made that will be transformative for the future of football in the country. Tournaments will take place here at national and international level,” said Jair Bertoni, FIFA Director of Member Associations Americas.
“Don’t forget the changing rooms were already used during Concacaf’s U-20 and U-17 Women’s Championships. All the federation’s targets are within reach, and the Dominican Republic has the potential to achieve great things as evidenced by the men’s national team’s recent qualification for the next FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia,” he added.
In addition to the refurbishment of the offices, the federation increased from three to four the number of changing rooms for players. Two more were built especially for referees, while a media room with capacity for 40 journalists, a sports medicine area, an anti-doping room, two meeting rooms, a dining room and a kitchen were also added, among other things.
“It is thanks to the support and help of FIFA, through funding of one million dollars from its FIFA Forward Development programme, that we reoccupy our headquarters today. Seeing it refurbished into a modern office space fills us with pride. We can thank them by continuing to run a growing federation with explicit objectives and clear management,” said Ruben Garcia Ciprian, president of FEDOFUTBOL’s Executive Committee.