Gianni Infantino, FIFA’s president is on a week long tour in Africa where he has been visiting and promoting football in some nations.
On the fourth day of his tour his delegation made a stop in Maputo, Mozambique where he visited the country’s prime minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, himself a football enthusiast and former national player at youth level.
The two leaders shared views on the benefit of sport, and football in particular, as a tool for social inclusion and education, for the millions of young people in the country.
The president’s tour had earlier kicked off on November 24th in Madagascar, arguable the rising football star nation on the continent. Accompanied by CAF president Ahmad and a delegation from FIFA as well as special adviser to CAF’s president Samuel Eto’o, the delegation met with the President of the republic as well as Malagasy football federation delegates and he is quoted to have said “We intend to do great things for African football, restoring the hope of many and bring smiles to the faces of millions of children in Africa.”
The story was different in Lesotho when the delegation was received on the 26 th of November by his Majesty King Letsie III and Prime Minister Dr Thomas Thabane. The role football can play in the country, particularly as an effective tool for education – a key priority of the government dominated exchanges.
The apex of Infantino’s visit clearly was in Lubumbashi on November 27th when the FIFA delegation was forced to drop their corporate outfits and change into FIFA’s emblematic red adidas jerseys in the presence of thousands who showed up to celebrate the 80 th anniversary of TP Mazembe.
Infantino, Ahmad, Eto’o all up against Mazembe greats including team president Moise Katumbi.
An early goal was scored by Youri Djorkaeff, with a second being added by FIFA President Infantino, resulting from a pass from Samuel Eto’o. Team TP Mazembe fought back in the second half, halving the deficit before the final whistle.
It was an unforgettable reception as activities continued late into the night.
Yesterday November 28th the FIFA team was in Angola where they visited the presidency and in a press conference Infantino pledged 6 million USD grant to Angola in aid for infrastructure project development.
The FIFA president said that the grant will be applied over the next four years to youth and women’s football infrastructure development.
Today Friday November 29 the team is expected in Brazzaville, the republic of Congo where Infantino is expected to visit the newly constructed site for the Congolese football federation. He is also expected to meet with the president of the republic.
The delegation will also visit FIFA’s head office for Central Africa which is located in Brazzaville.