City of Football with open arms
Shortly after the appearance of COVID-19, the cancellation of all national football competitions and the suspension of the Liga NOS and the Portuguese Cup – with the finalist already qualified – the FPF made clear the main priorities: helping the health authorities and the front line in combating the progression of the pandemic; help the most needy and, as soon as there were signs of easing the scourge, prepare to return to the pitch as soon as competition could resume.
It was, therefore, with great satisfaction that the announcement of the restart of the main national competition was welcomed. The entire FPF team embraced the mission of being able to help national clubs, players, coaches, staff and managers to ensure a safe and comfortable recovery.
For different reasons – geographical distance, long plane journeys or, among others, lack of own facilities in safe conditions – FPF offered itself from the first hour to receive in the City of Football both the teams and the matches of the League.
CD Santa Clara and Belenenses Sad were the clubs that sought, from the first hour, to make City of Football their home. A vast team immediately prepared everything to make them feel at home: pitch ground number 1 was renovated, the stadium was modernized to meet the requirements of tv broadcasts and VAR system, health safety procedures were implemented so that risks contamination were drastically reduced.
Faced with long stays in the City of Football, in the most particular case of CD Santa Clara, away from families, friends and supporters, the FPF decide to go even further and turn its facilities into a real home: the dressing rooms were decorated with motifs referring to the club and is region and the matches themselves can now be seen by fans of both clubs through the creation of a virtual stand.
In addition to several spots of animation – light and sound – a ledwall was set up – a giant led screen, with almost 100 meters long and 3 meters high – where the images of the fans living the game in the safety of their homes are transmitted. We tried to short the distances, reduce the nostalgia, bring fans and their teams closes together, recreate the environment that makes football so unique.
In Almada, facing Lisbon, a gigantic statue of Christ embraces the entire other bank of the Tejo river. City of Football followed suit. Keep the arms wide open.”
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