(MTI) – Former President of Hungary and member of the International Olympic Committee Pal Schmitt opened the Pancho Arena of the Ferenc Puskas Football Academy in Felcsut near Budapest on Monday.
Schmitt cited the Arena’s architect Imre Makovecz saying that not only churches and schools, but stadiums can also become shrines.
He expressed thanks to local residents for their patience during the construction work and to the founders of the Puskas Academy for “preserving the faith that Felcsut and the academy need a proper arena which can also become a cultural venue in addition to being a sport venue.”
President of the Spanish Football Federation Angel Maria Villar delievered a personal message by FIFA Vice-President Joseph Blatter, according to which the stadium will serve as eternal memory to football legend Puskas and can also function as encouragement to young Hungarian players.
President Janos Ader said in a message that football was a game that teaches cooperation and perseverance and described it as an inestimable opportunity for young people.
The stadium was built at a cost of 3.8 billion forints (EUR 12.4m) in two years. It meets the UEFA 2 classification which makes it suitable to host play-off rounds and matches between national teams.