October 18 – Gerhard Milletich, 65, has been elected the new president of the Austrian Football Association (ÖFB). He replaces Leo Windtner, who had been in charge since 2009.
The ÖFB general assembly voted 11-2 in favour of Milletich, who once chaired football club ESV Parndorf and is a seasoned politician, having been state president of Burgenland since 2012.
One of Milletich’s major tasks will be to see through the construction of a national training complex in Aspern, on the outskirts of Vienna. Talks with both the federal government and the city of Vienna regarding the financing have been dragging on, but it is believed that the federal government, the city and the ÖFB will share the costs of €60 million.
The training centre is to be completed by 2024 and will include a small stadium, an indoor pitch, the new ÖFB headquarters and a hotel. It was Milletich’s predecessor who launched the project, but the new president said that a new national stadium to replace the dated Ernst Happel Stadium is not a priority.
In August, Windtner had revealed that he would not stand in the presidential elections. He had hoped to win another four-year term, but stood down when he could not garner enough support.
During his reign, Austria qualified twice for the European championship, reaching the round of sixteen at Euro 2020. The Austrian women’s team reached the last four of the continental championship in 2017 and will return to the finals next summer in England.
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