February 23 – Gianni Infantino’s African roadshow landed in Sudan on Monday, where the FIFA boss pledged more support for the north African country.
The FIFA president who has been criss-crossing Africa for the past week, had another busy day, visiting the Khartoum Stadium, meeting with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan (pictured), the chairman of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, and attending a women’s football training session.
Infantino promised “that FIFA will work closely with the whole football community in Sudan, with women and men, to continue to develop football and to bring Sudan back where it deserves to be, at the top of African football.”
“I was saddened when I visited Khartoum Stadium and witnessed its current state,” he said.
“This is an historical venue and we need to protect and cherish its history. We will invest and work together with the government and the SFA to make everyone in Sudan proud of the stadium again.”
Sudan was a founding member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and hosted the first-ever Africa Cup of Nations in 1957. The country achieved impressive results in the 60’s and 70’s before falling by the wayside.
“We spoke with the Chairman of the transitional sovereignty committee about investment in football, because there is incredible talent in the country to be developed,” continued Infantino. “We spoke about football being part of the school system and about women’s and girls’ football – a very important area of the game.”
The latest leg of Infantino’s African tour comes after voyages that have taken the FIFA president to Mauritania, Senegal, the Central African Republic, Rwanda, Congo-Brazzaville, DR Congo and South Africa. In recent years, Infantino has been a frequent guest in Africa, but his current trip, in the middle of a global health pandemic, has invited scrutiny for its conspicuous timing.
On March 12, the CAF elections will take place in Morocco with a field of four candidates, assuming the current president Ahmad Ahmad will not be cleared to run. South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe, Mauritania’s Ahmed Yahya, Ivory Coast’s Jacques Anouma and Senegal’s Augustin Senghor are all vying for the top job in the African game. On his tour, Infantino has met all candidates so far, with the exception of Anouma.
Contact the writer of this story, Samindra Kunti, at moc.l1620330312labto1620330312ofdlr1620330312owedi1620330312sni@o1620330312fni1620330312