ZURICH:   The number of visitors to the FIFA World Football Museum’s permanent exhibition increased last year, with 141,069 people taking a journey through the history of world football – 19.07pc up on 2017 and the highest annual figure since the museum opened on February 28, 2016.

A further 94,266 people attended the first special exhibition to be held outside Zurich which was in Moscow during the World Cup. Between June 9 and July 22 ‘The History Makers’ was stayed in the Hyundai Motorstudio, which became a popular meeting place where fans from around the globe could meet.

Managing Director Marco Fazzone said: “It was an excellent World Cup year for the museum, thanks in particular to the rising number of visitors to both our permanent exhibition and our cultural programme in Zurich, which shows that we are making a positive contribution to the city’s varied range of attractions.

“With our first special exhibition abroad, we have also demonstrated that the FIFA World Football Museum has international pulling power. We are full of energy and ideas for the future. In 2019, the museum will be playing an active part in promoting women’s football, especially in the summer months, when it will be a focal point for the women’s game.”

Further highlights of the past 12 months, in addition to the permanent exhibition in Zurich and “The History Makers” special exhibition in Moscow, were the museum’s regular cultural programme in Zurich (5,911 visitors in 2018) and the special pop-up exhibition “JUST ARRIVED! Unboxing the Heritage of Russia 2018”, also in Zurich (5,013 visitors), which presented a variety of objects from last year’s World Cup.

Under the museum’s educational programme, 4,497 individual tickets were issued in 2018 for visits by school classes, which became free of charge on 1 January this year.

Fazzone added: “Our educational concept based on learning via the phenomenon of football is an integral part of our work at the museum and a further resource that is particularly useful for those in greater Zurich. It is our contribution to FIFA’s efforts to give schoolchildren all over the world access to football through educational programmes.”            .