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FIFA to move to new location near Zurich airport

FIFA boss, Joseph Blatter, said it was time to move to a new location. Keystone / AP Photo / Moises Castillo

Football's governing body, FIFA, based in Zurich, has announced plans to build a new operation centre near Zurich airport.

The plans were revealed at a news conference on Wednesday given by FIFA president, Joseph Blatter, and the SAirGroup president and chief executive, Philippe Bruggisser.

The construction project is to be headed by AviReal, an SAirGroup subsidiary active in real estate.

Blatter said the decision was motivated by the organisation’s need for better access to transport, utility and sporting facilities.

“The location we have selected is near our intercontinental airport and features an excellent amount of hotel space, is close to downtown Zurich and also has a football pitch located nearby.

“This more than meets the needs of FIFA and these are the reasons that FIFA and the SAirGroup began evaluating this joint project,” he added.

FIFA’s executive committee will make a definitive decision on the project in March next year.

Bruggisser said he was pleased at the prospect of gaining FIFA as a customer for AviReal. “We have been saving this piece of land for some time in the hopes of finding just the right customer and sometimes it takes a while before the right customer comes along.

“This project is good for both FIFA and the SAirGroup and once again highlights the advantages of a functional international transport hub,” he added.

The plans call for the operation centre, which would be used by both FIFA and the SAirGroup, to be completed by May 2004, in time for FIFA’s 100th anniversary celebrations.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR