FIFA President, Gianni Infantino has assured Africans that the continent would benefit immensely during his reign as president of World football governing body as he completed his two-day working visit to Nigeria.
His visit to the continent is expected to help cement the ties between African football associations and FIFA to engender development.
He mentioned that under his administration, FIFA will intensify its efforts in the development of football especially in developing continents like Africa. “Our interest is more in football development and during my campaign to become the president I promised to introduce some reforms which included that unlike in the past that the Secretary General will not come from Europe and today we have Secretary General from Africa,” – Infantino stated.
Speaking on increasing Africa’s representation at the World Cup, he promised that the slot allotted to the continent would be looked into. In his words, “Also you all know that before our election, the issue of the 2018 and 2022 World Cup editions had been settled but we will ensure that by 2026 we increase the number of participating countries to 40 and Africa is expected to get two more slots.”
In the same vein, the president also promised that very soon the issue of funding of federations will be focused on while he revealed that the yearly FIFA grants will increase from about $400,000 dollars to between $1.2million and 1.5million dollars to each member association.
“The reforms we are running are transparent and I want to assure that now FIFA has become more accountable in our actions. Today we have 18 national associations that have come here to discuss with us on how we can together reform football and this shows we are on the right track.”
On the recent crisis rocking the Amaju Pinnick led NFF, Infantino stated that FIFA was unaware of crisis to further confirm Pinnick as the recognised leader of Nigerian Football House.
I told my @FIFAcom guests that a lot of Nigerians are married to football. We have no choice than to nurture it pic.twitter.com/jlBwqoMhLS
— Muhammadu Buhari (@MBuhari) July 25, 2016
The FIFA President who was accompanied on the visit by the Secretary General, Ms Fatma Samoura also paid a courtesy visit on President Mohammadu Buhari as well as the Senate President Bukola Saraki.
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