Platini and Blatter lavish praise on the FA at 150th anniversary celebrationsBy Martyn Ziegler, Press Association
15 January 2013
The Football Association has been congratulated on its 150th anniversary by the presidents of UEFA and FIFA.
The FA is to launch its programme of celebrations in London tomorrow and UEFA president Michel Platini said the European governing body were pleased to be marking the anniversary by playing the Champions League final this year at Wembley.
Platini said: 'It is a milestone that is worthy of celebration by the entire worldwide football family. Also, UEFA has only existed for a fraction of this time.
'We were honoured to play our part in celebrating the anniversary of the oldest football association in the world.
'To my mind, it is logical that this season's UEFA Champions League final will be played at the new Wembley - the new home of the Football Association.
'Furthermore, the UEFA Women's Champions League Final, the UEFA European Women Under-17 Championship Final and UEFA Congress will also take place in England during the next 12 months.
'We thank the Football Association for its contribution to creating, fostering and building our sport.
'And on behalf of UEFA and its member associations, we wish you another 150 years of success in helping to further strengthen and develop football worldwide.'
The FA is the oldest football association in the world and FIFA president Sepp Blatter paid tribute to its pioneering spirit.
Blatter said: 'It is a great honour and pleasure to congratulate the FA, in this special year 2013 when they are in the festive mood for their 150th anniversary of its foundation.
'If you look back on the 26 October 1863 in the Freemasons Tavern in Great Queen Street, they were the pioneers.
'They called it the Football Association of England, but now it is [just] called the FA, because it is the number one in FIFA.
'The privilege to be called the FA is because England has organised football, the modern game has been organised in England.
'And more than that they have organised what they call, and we call now, "the Beautiful Game".'