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10 November 2010
World-famous footballers will be preparing for the Olympic Games in the Welsh capital after the University was confirmed as an official London 2012 training venue for the sport.
Teams from around the world will have access to Games-time training at the University’s playing fields in Llanrumney, using the site for their final preparations in the preliminary rounds of the Olympic football tournament.
The announcement follows extensive negotiations between Cardiff University Sport and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and the Paralympic Games (LOCOG). Further to the announcement the site and the playing surface will be inspected by FIFA (The International Federation of Association Football) to ensure that it meets the international standards required for training.
Stuart Vanstone, Head of Sport at the University said: "We are delighted that LOCOG has recognised the quality of the provision at the University’s Sports Fields. Our experience of hosting international sports teams stands us in good stead to welcome world-class footballers. It will be very exciting to see the likes of Lionel Messi and Ronaldinio who played in the Beijing Olympic Games training alongside other famous sportsmen and women at Cardiff University.
"As we build towards hosting these international footballers we will develop associated legacy programs to bring wider benefit to the city, its people and Wales."
Seb Coe, Chair of LOCOG, said: "These are first-rate venues that will provide excellent training facilities for footballers. Cardiff University should be proud that its work hosting teams will allow the players to perform at their best guaranteeing a great day out for spectators. Hosting visiting teams will be a big cultural and economic boost to Cardiff and is another example of how the London 2012 Games are benefiting Wales."
Football is one of the sports that will take place outside of London for the 2012 Games. The Millennium Stadium in the city centre has been named as one of six stadiums across the UK to host the Olympic football competition.
The Welsh Assembly’s Minister for Heritage, Alun Ffred Jones, said: ''This is tremendous news for Cardiff University, the Football Association of Wales and for local communities in and around Cardiff. Wales is committed to maximising the opportunities relating to the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 and this decision will leave a lasting legacy for sport which will serve the community for years to come. The Millennium Stadium will be hosting a number of Olympic football matches in 2012 and we are looking forward to warmly receiving some of the world's best footballers to Wales."
As well as the Olympic football games-time training, the University will also host the International Amateur Boxing Association’s pre-games training camp and the Australian Paralympic wheelchair basketball squad.
"Cardiff University is at the forefront of Olympic activity in Wales," added Stuart Vanstone. "These camps will bring real sporting and economic benefit to Cardiff and Wales as the Olympic teams and their fans visit the city."
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