TIRANA Jan 27 Albania will decide in February
who is to build a new soccer stadium in the capital Tirana, a
precondition for the Balkan country to continue hosting
FIFA and UEFA have allowed the Albanian soccer authorities
to keep playing international matches in the old stadium in
Tirana, on condition they come up with plans to build a new one.
After a four-year consultancy and bidding process, Albania
will choose between France's Bouygues Batiment International
and Italy's Serenissima Costruzioni to design,
finance, build and operate the new stadium.
"By the end of February we shall decide who will be our
preferred bidder and we shall continue the negotiations for the
contract signature," Ardian Cani, the project leader for the new
stadium, told Reuters on Monday.
The companies were asked to deliver a soccer-only stadium
with 22,000 seats. The average construction cost before value
added tax ranges from 45 to 48 million euros ($65.69 million), a
major investment for one of Europe's poorest countries.
The soccer federation and UEFA will contribute 10 million
euros ($13.69 million) and the government will add another 10
million. The builder will supply the bulk of the funding.
Soccer is the most popular sport in Albania and the national
team is also supported by ethnic Albanians from the former
Serbian province of Kosovo, who make up a majority of its
(Reporting By Benet Koleka, Editing by Zoran Radosavljevic and