Posted on December 20, 2017

Aspire Academy recently welcomed the Presidents of the Hellenic Football Federation (HFF), Football Federation Islamic Republic of Iran (FFIRI), and the Football Association of Serbia namely Mr. Evangelos Grammenos (HFF), Mr. Mehdi Taj (FFIRI), and Mr. Slavisa Kokeza (Football Association of Serbia) throughout last week.

Aspire Academy’s Director General, Ivan Bravo, Director of Football Performance and Science, Valter Di Salvo, and Director of Sport and Strategy, Markus Egger, welcomed each delegation and accompanied them on guided tours of Aspire Academy’s facilities, including a sneak peek of the Academy’s new Football Performance building, which is still under construction.

Aspire Academy welcomes 2 [].jpgThe FFIRI President was accompanied on the visit by his predecessor, Mr. Ali Kafashian. Speaking on the sidelines, Mr. Mehdi Taj said: “I have been very impressed by what is going on at this marvelous sports development institution. The possibilities that Aspire offers to the current and future generation of Qatari athletes is excellent. These world class facilities, combined with the right vision for the education and nurturing of sports talent in the country, will leave a lasting legacy for Qatar. Qatar should indeed be proud of Aspire Academy.”

Meanwhile, speaking about the Academy’s philosophy and how it all works in conjunction with the Qatari national sports federations and associations, Mr. Evangelos Grammenos, commented: “It is quite evident that this country has a vision and well-thought-out plans about sport development. l firmly believe that it will reach its objectives in the years to come. Aspire Academy is really impressive and has embarked on a good sports development philosophy which is backed up by world class facilities. Sport in Qatar, particularly football, has a bright future ahead and Aspire Academy has a major role to play to help the country achieve its sporting ambitions.” After his tour of Aspire Academy, Mr. Grammenos proceeded to visit the Academy’s sister organization, Aspetar, the world's leading specialised orthopaedic and sports medicine hospital in Qatar.

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Mr Slavisa Kokeza, who was accompanied by the Football Association of Serbia’s Sport Director, Mr Goran Bunjevcevic, added: “We have a strong relationship with the Qatar Football Association. We wanted to see the famous Aspire Academy whilst visiting the country for Serbia’s friendly match against Qatar. It is truly impressive and l have not come across any sports academy like this anywhere in the world. Aspire Academy and its operations is a benchmark for anyone who wants to develop sport. We hope that Serbia and Qatar continue to work together for the mutual benefit of sports development in both countries.”

He continued: “We can exchange notes on youth coaching and development methods as we’ve both scored some successes in this area, given that our U-20 national team were winners of the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand and Qatar’s won the 2014 AFC U-19 Championships. I am sure even our coaching programmes can build on each other’s experiences and strengths. Judging from the efforts that l see here at Aspire Academy, I am sure that Qatar will put together a competitive team in 2022. One that will represent the country well at the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.”