FIFA president Gianni Infantino has completed his 10-day visit to Africa, returning to Switzerland after spending time in nine African countries.
During the visit Infantino attended the three-day summit in Johannesburg, South Africa where national association delegations from three different confederations were able to interact with the FIFA president and his staff, with specific focus on how the needs of African and other associations could best be addressed.
The remaining seven days of Infantino’s trip to the continent saw him visit Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Rwanda, Chad, Ghana, Niger and Mauritania for various initiatives, meetings and launches.
The tour of Africa allowed the new FIFA head to discuss the implementation of the FIFA Forward programme and reiterate the world soccer governing body’s support for the African associations in terms of growth and development.
Infantino managed to meet members of numerous soccer associations on the continent, providing them with valuable face-time and giving him the opportunity to experience the passion for the sport in Africa while following up on projects taking place across the continent.
Reacting to his visit to Africa, Infantino was full of praise for the people that he met during his 10-day tour.
“In the wake of the Johannesburg Executive Summit, it was a pleasure to visit several African Member Associations and see how much of an everyday passion football is,” said Infantino, according to the FIFA website.
“I could see how the implementation of our Forward programme has had a concrete and positive impact on the daily lives of those who love football,” the FIFA president said.
“This is naturally a source of pride, but even more so it is a source of encouragement to keep on working. The activities carried out by our member associations on the field are remarkable,” he added.
“This trip was also an opportunity for me to learn more about the constraints, the needs and the challenges faced by some countries in order to allow as many people as possible to gain access to football, and to make progress within it,” Infantino commented.
Swiss Infantino was elected as the new FIFA president at the end of February 2016, and has been in the post for a year.