The national football center in Boyana has cost 10 million euros, of which 9.5 million is funded by UEFA. This is what BFU Chairman Borislav Mihaylov told all media at the opening in 2016. But internal UEFA documents prove that thetotal amount transferred by UEFA is 11.5 million euros. According to the documentation, the construction was entrusted to the company “Vodstroy”, associated with lawmaker Delyan Peevski.
Called the “House of Football”, the base includes football pitches, a multifunctional sports hall, an administrative building and a hotel. It was officially opened on 27 November 2016 in the presence of UEFA President, Slovenian Aleksander Ceferin and FIFA President Adviser Zvonimir Boban. In his opening speech, BFU President Borislav Mihaylov especially thanked outgoing Prime Minister Boyko Borisov for the land allocated and stressed that the base is funded by grants from UEFA and FIFA for a total of 9.5 million euros.
The project for a National Football Base was discussed at UEFA back in 2005, when plans were to build it near the village of Mirovene. In 2008, the first funding of CHF 2.9 million was granted under the HatTrick 1 program, and then the idea was to build it on the ground next to the National Sports Academy NSA. This money remained unused until 2011 because the plans changed once again and the project has already been moved to Boyana.
Meanwhile, the BFU also applied for funding under the HatTrick 2 and 3 programs and received approval for 5.5 million euros from UEFA, and the project should be completed by October 2013.
At that time, the contractors were already selected, which were represented in the documentation sent by the BFU to UEFA. The football fields will be built by the company “Dynamic Resource” Ltd. for EUR 1.8 million, and the buildings and adjacent infrastructure by the consortium “Industrial Construction – Vodstroy”, associated with Delyan Peevski.
“Industrial Construction” is a company controlled by the bank CCB, which was subsequently purchased by “Vodstroy 98”. This company is formally owned by Ivan Mirinski and was subscribed to large public procurement for years, as well as to multimillion-dollar loans from CCB. Vodstroy’s relationship with Peevski was announced by banker Tsvetan Vassilev in an interview with bTV in 2014, when he said that Mirinski “is the owner of Vodstroy and is Peevski’s puppet”.
However, the amount of 5.5 million euros from UEFA proved to be extremely insufficient, as well as the planned deadlines. Construction dragged on for another three years and the amount swelled to 11.5 million euros. This is related to changes in progress of the project – extension of the ground floor of the “House of Football”, energy-saving heating and ventilation and backup road for the fire department. These extras, as well as the office and hotel equipment are estimated at an additional 3.5 million euros, which BFU wants from UEFA under the HatTrick 4 program.
The final bill for UEFA alone amounted to 11.5 million euros, which is two million more than announced by Borislav Mihaylov 9.5 million euros from UEFA and FIFA together. The amount is seen in a summary document on the financing of the project, which was last edited on November 4, 2016, a few days before the official opening of the National Football Base.
BIRD.BG also has the payment orders from UEFA for the BFU during the years from which the same amount is received. The data comes from internal correspondence and documentation from UEFA leaked to the international journalistic consortium OCCRP. They mainly deal with projects under the “HatTrick” programs to finance projects of national football federations from the UEFA budget. The files contain data on almost all countries that are members of the European Federation and are studied by a team of journalists from the consortium.
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