MOSCOW, January 19 (Itar-Tass) — Russian President Dmitry Medvedev congratulated the Russian Football Union on its centennial anniversary on Thursday. “This is a remarkable date not only for members or your organization, coaches and footballers, but also for millions of fans,” the president said in a congratulatory telegram.
“The Russian Football Union has done much for the development of football and its popularization,” Medvedev noted. “The Soviet Union national team won twice the Olympic gold medals, won the European Nations’ Cup in 1960 and became European vice-champions in 1964, 1972 and 1988,” he recalled.
The Russian Football Union “is facing important tasks related with the children’s and youth sports and the promotion of the healthy lifestyle among young people,” the president said.
“The improvement of the training system of football players for national teams of the country should be prioritized,” he believes.
“All should be done for our national team to show a worthy play at the FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018,” Medvedev welcomed the leadership of the Russian Football Union.
The Russian Football Union celebrates its centennial anniversary on Thursday. On this day in 1912 the All-Russian Football Union was created at its founding meeting in St. Petersburg.
Russian football dates back to October 24, 1897, when the first Russian football match announced in the press was held. The Vasilevsky Ostrov Society of Footballers beat 6-0 the St. Petersburg Club of Sport Fans in this match.
The celebrations on the occasion of this centennial anniversary are underway in St. Petersburg. FIFA President Joseph Blatter, the Russian leadership, UEFA President Michel Platini and the chiefs of the football associations from many countries arrived in the city to attend the festivities.