Acting Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan received President of the Football Federation of Armenia (FFA) Armen Melikbekyan and First Deputy FFA President Armen Nikoghosyan.
Nikol Pashinyan noted that football is one of those spheres in which Armenian society can see real and significant changes. “I should emphasize that the government welcomes these changes, as they have led to very good results. I wish to underscore that in fact our national team with the games won in quite a challenging period for our country pioneered the return of positive emotions to the country and the people. I am far from trying to overestimate the role of this function, but on the other hand, I do not want to see our national football team fettered in future competitions. Nevertheless, I deem it important to remind that we expect specific sporting achievements on the way to Armenia’s transformation strategy by the year 2050. We expect that by that time the national team will not only reach the finals of the European or world championships, but it will also be able to win medals. I know that this is quite a complex task, but in any case, we need to develop football and sports infrastructure in order to better organize the socio-economic life in the country. So, you may rest assured that you will have the government’s backing in implementing your programs, and of course, we will do everything possible to uphold the ongoing positive trends.”
Thankful for Nikol Pashinyan’s kind remarks and accurate assessments, Armen Melikbekyan said: “In fact, we felt the government’s support in the most difficult moments before and after the war; without your support it would have been impossible to organize international matches. I should note that in such difficult moments our sporting achievements brought some support to Armenia. We have set clear-cut objectives as specified in the strategy of the Football Federation of Armenia until 2025, and we are going to fulfill the minimum goal for 2022 or 2024 before that period, namely to reach the final stage of the World or European Championships. This is reflected in our strategy.
Of course, the Football Federation cannot do all this on its own, and we are grateful for the government’s continued support, and we will try to live up to the mark, since the Armenian national team has achieved a historic result at this point of time. Next year we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Football Federation and the national team of Armenia. Our national team has three wins in the three starting games. We will have challenging standoffs in the fall, but in any case, both the players and the coaching staff, and representatives of the FFA administration understand the importance of these victories for the country.”
Nikol Pashinyan and the FFA leaders discussed football development programs aimed at improving sporting infrastructure, developing youth football, ensuring the progress of the youth and national teams, as well as promoting club football in Armenia.