The National Training Center in Sofia’s suburb of Boyana cost EUR 10 million, of which 9.5 million were funded by UEFA. This was stated by the President of the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) Borislav Mihaylov in front of all media at the ribbon cutting ceremony in 2016. But UEFA internal documents prove that the total amount transferred by the organization was EUR 11.5 million. According to the documentation, the construction was entrusted to the company Vodstroy, associated with controversial Bulgarian former lawmaker and media mogul Delyan Peevski.
Called the National House of Football, the facility includes football fields, a multifunctional sports hall, an administrative building and a hotel. It was inaugurated on November 27, 2016 in the presence of then-UEFA President Alexander Ceferin of Slovenia and FIFA President’s Adviser Zvonimir Boban. In his opening speech, Mihaylov extended special thanks to the resigned Prime Minister Boyko Borisov for the allocated land and stressed that the facility had been funded by grants from UEFA and FIFA for a total of EUR 9.5 million.
The project for a National House of Football was discussed by UEFA back in 2005, when plans were to build it near the village of Mirovene. In 2008, the first tranche of CHF 2.9 million was granted under the HatTrick I program, and then the idea was to build it on the plot next to the National Sports Academy (NSA). This money remained unspent until 2011 because the plans changed once again and the project had already been moved to Boyana.
CHF 2.9 million remained unspent until 2011
Meanwhile, the BFU has applied for funding under the HatTrick II and III programs and has received approval for EUR 5.5 million from UEFA with plans to complete the project by October 2013.
At that time, the contractors were already selected and listed in the documentation sent by the BFU to UEFA. The football fields were to be built by the company Dynamic Resource Ltd. for EUR 1.8 million, and the buildings and the adjacent infrastructure by the consortium Industrial Construction – Vodstroy, associated with Delyan Peevski.
Industrial Construction is a company that was controlled by the failed Corporate Commercial Bank (CCB) and was subsequently purchased by Vodstroy 98. This company is formally owned by Ivan Mirinski and has been awarded large public procurement contracts for years and granted millions in loans by CCB. Vodstroy’s relationship with Peevski was revealed by banker and former CCB majority shareholder Tsvetan Vassilev in a TV interview in 2014. At the time, Vassiled said that Mirinski was the owner of Vodstroy but he was Peevski’s strawman.
However, the amount of EUR 5.5 million from UEFA turned out to be quite insufficient and the planned deadlines unattainable. The construction works dragged on for another three years and the amount swelled to EUR 11.5 million. This was due to changes in the project – expansion of the ground floor of the National House of Football, energy-saving heating and ventilation and a backup road for the fire department. These extras, as well as office and hotel equipment, are estimated at an additional EUR 3.5 million, which the BFU requested from UEFA under the HatTrick IV program.
Therefore, the final bill for UEFA alone amounts to EUR 11.5 million, which is two million more than the EUR 9.5 million announced by Mihailov as jointly provided by UEFA and FIFA. The amount can be seen in a summary document for the financing of the project, which was last edited on November 4, 2016, a few days before the grand opening of the National Football Center.
BIRD.BG also posses the payment orders from UEFA to the BFU during the years and they show the same amounts received. The information is found in UEFA’s internal correspondence and documentation leaked to the international journalism consortium the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP). They pertain mainly to the HatTrick scheme to finance projects of national football federations from UEFA’s budget. The files contain data on almost all UEFA member states and are being examiner by a team of journalists from the consortium.
Щом сте стигнали дотук, вероятно вече си задавате въпроса как се финансира този журналистически проект.
Отговорът е: Финансира се от чекмедже, в което читателите оставят по нещо, ако им е харесало съдържанието.
Чекирайте се и Вие!
При възможност, станете наш редовен спомоществовател с опцията Чекирай Редовно. Това ни помага да предвиждаме бъдещи разходи и да планираме дейността си за месеци напред.
БРРД Eднократно 2022 / BIRD One time 2022
БРРД Ежемесечно / BIRD Monthly
This post is also available in: Български (Bulgarian)