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Gianni Infantino with Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário. [Photo: Lusa]
Speaking to the press on the sidelines of the meeting with Mozambican prime minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário in Maputo on Wednesday, FIFA President Gianni Infantino announced a donation of US$6 million for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of sports infrastructure destroyed by Cyclone Idai, as well as the expansion of the football field network across Mozambique.
This is Gianni Infantino’s first visit to Mozambique as FIFA president, although visited the country in 2016 while campaigning for the presidency of the football world governing body . The FIFA president arrived late last on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning met the Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosário with his delegation, which included CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, world football legends Samuel Eto’o and Yuri Djorkaeff, and others. The courtesy meeting lasted about 30 minutes.
Speaking after the meeting, Infantino said various aspects of the game were discussed, including the development of Mozambican football. “We talked about the development of football in Mozambique. Mozambique today has a football federation which works very well, in a transparent and open manner, with positive sporting results, which is why we were first in the CAN 2021 qualifying phase. We talked about football development projects,” Infantino reported.
FIFA “has come to Maputo, to Mozambique, to invest, together with the government, in infrastructure, competitions at the level of training in both women’s and men’s football. That is what we have to do, today and for the future,” he said.
US$6 million more for FMF projects
And it was at the end of his meeting with the prime minister that Infantino announced the increased support of the “new” FIFA, through its foundation, to Mozambican Football Federation projects.
“We have decided to increase support, and the Mozambican Football Federation will now have US$6 million over the next four years to invest in infrastructure, stadiums and pitches, which will be significant,” he said.
“We talked about the cyclone that hit the country. Through the FIFA Foundation, we will help in the reconstruction of infrastructure. It is important to invest, and we are here to do that,” Infantino promised.
Support has not yet been granted yet, however, as the International Football Federation expects the FMF to present its projects for evaluation and approval, while reviewing the budgets presented during the FIFA Foundation delegation’s visit in May and June to inspect the damage caused by Cyclone Idai in the central provinces of Sofala and Manica.
FIFA will be present at the FMF elections
Infantino also promised that FIFA would be represented in the Mozambican Football Federation elections scheduled for December 14, through a nominated delegation.
For the FIFA president, these elections must be carried out satisfactorily, and the FIFA body will be here to ensure a free and transparent process. “This is a new FIFA, and we don’t want things from the past to happen again. We want the national federations to be transparent, open and forward-thinking, working for football, just like this new FIFA, so we need to be confident that the Mozambican Football Federation elections are free and peaceful. We will definitely be here, observing,” Infantino said.
The head of the governing body of world football did not say exactly how FIFA would be represented, but he reiterated that he was aware of everything happening in the run-up to the elections and called for transparency, openness and clear-sightedness among the new leadership of the Mozambican Football Federation, to be chosen through the vote of 14 December next.
FMF expects amounts to be channelled as soon as possible
The president of the Mozambican Football Federation, who was also present at the meeting between Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario and Gianni Infantino, began by thanking the world football supremo, adding that he was delighted to welcome him to Mozambique.
“Since yesterday, the country has been hosting an important figure in world football and, as you said, you explained your reasons for coming here, which is to publicise the activities of the new FIFA and the relationship it has with the national associations. We are pleased that [Infantino] is paying attention to Africa and has so many Africans in his squad, which proves that the new FIFA is in sympathy with our continent,” Alberto Simango Junior said, himself also a candidate in the upcoming elections.
By Elisio UamusseSource: O País
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