FIFA and CAF presidents visited Côte d’Ivoire to begin a two-day itinerary; Focus on promoting unity, developing and strengthening football governance; Continent’s inaugural pan-African inter-school football championship also launched.
The presidents of CAF and FIFA traveled to Côte d’Ivoire on Monday as part of their first joint mission in Africa since the election of Dr. Patrice Motsepe as the confederation’s new president in March. Central to their two-day itinerary were meetings with government and football officials, with the focus on promoting unity and serenity, developing and strengthening the country’s football governance, and launching the continent’s inaugural pan-African inter-school football championship in Abobo, a municipality just outside the country’s capital Abidjan.
Arriving in Abidjan they were greeted by members of the normalisation committee of the Ivorian Football Federation (FIF), including President Mariam Dao Gabala, who along with her colleagues has been responsible for bringing football back into play in Côte d’Ivoire.
An official dinner was hosted for the delegation by the Ivorian Minister for the Promotion of Youth, Professional Integration and Civic Service, Mamadou Touré, in the presence of Minister for National Education and Literacy, Marietou Koné. Addressing the gathering CAF President Dr. Motsepe underlined the unifying power of football is more important than differences between diverse groups of people. He was also keen to highlight CAF’s robust support for the West African nation stating,
“Côte d’Ivoire has CAF’s total commitment and 2023’s AFCON here will be the best ever.”
FIFA President Gianni Infantino bolstered this message further saying.
“We need to work together to make football great and make the millions of passionate fans in Côte d’Ivoire, a country that has won the AFCON twice and will soon host it, happy.”
Present at the event to provide their support for the joint CAF/FIFA mission were CAF’s four vice presidents, presidents of the five CAF zonal unions, and presidents from CAF Member Associations in West Africa Football Zone Union B.