By James Crook

129893545April 25 - FIFA President Sepp Blatter has initiated the construction of a museum dedicated to football at the Haus zur Enge in Zurich, which they hope will "soon be a meeting place for football fans from all over the world".

The Museum, which is expected to cost $110 million (£71 million/€85 million) was originally earmarked to be constructed at the House of FIFA, but after searching for alternative locations, FIFA decided on Haus zur Enge, owned by Swiss Life, to host it.

"The FIFA Museum project is a stroke of luck for Zurich and is a perfect fit for Swiss Life's investment policy," said Rolf Dorig, chairman of the Swiss Life Board of Directors.

"As the biggest property owners in Switzerland, we place great importance on linking business with urban development.

"The FIFA Museum at Tessinerplatz will breathe fresh life not only into the surrounding areas, but also into the whole Zurich region.

"We are very pleased to be part of this project as landlords."

Blatter and FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke signed a 40-year rental contract earlier this month, before submitting the plans to the Zurich City Council, who FIFA claim have welcomed the project.

The overall concept of the Museum will be developed as the building is dismantled, and building work is expected to commence in December 2013 when planning and conversion permission is granted.

181678 640Sepp Blatter spoke at the Haus zur Enge site which will host the FIFA Museum

The initial plans for the Museum feature a Hall of Fame, 3D displays and interactive games as well as a collection of trophies and shirts from across the world, but FIFA hope that the project will be more than just a museum.

There will also be an events area, which will host occasions such as press conferences and award ceremonies, and there will be exhibitions depicting FIFA's social responsibility projects, such as their Football for Hope programme.

"It may still be a building site, but soon this will be a true meeting place for football and its millions of fans from all over the world." said Blatter at the site of the new Museum. 

"You see a very happy President standing before you in this building today.

image 2An artists impression of the new FIFA museum in Zurich

"Today is a great day for me personally and for FIFA.

"I am delighted that we are going ahead with this project in the Haus zur Enge.

"I would like to say a special thank you to everyone who has made this possible."

The Museum is expected to open sometime around April-May 2015, and the project architects, SAM Architekten und Partner AG are confident that completion can be achieved within this timeframe.

"We know that we have a tight and ambitious schedule to plan and carry out all of this work, but we are very confident," a spokesman said.

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