FIFA (www.FIFA.com) President to visit Nigerien Football Association in January; Development in Niger hailed as an example to follow by the FIFA President; FIFA Forward funding key in sustaining Nigerian football development.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has accepted an invitation to visit Niger following a visit from Hamidou Djibrilla, his opposite number at the Nigerien Football Association (FENIFOOT), in Paris.
“We’ve spent the best part of the last year hoping the FIFA President will come and see us and he accepted our invitation today,” explained the FENIFOOT President. “He’s coming to Niger in January and our people will be delighted to welcome him.”
The visit will give President Infantino the chance to witness the progress that the western African country has made in recent years. In addition to the national team’s impressive performances in its last two FIFA World Cup™ qualification campaigns, Niger has been working tirelessly to develop its training programmes and infrastructures, all with the support of FIFA.
“Niger is often held up by President Infantino as an example for others to follow in terms of its development projects,” said Djibrilla.“Our collaboration with FIFA has been very successful and the FIFA President has always opened his door to us and has always listened to what we have to say. With regard to development, we can only pay tribute to FIFA for what they do for Africa in general and for my country in particular. Without FIFA Forward funding, we would not be able to play at the level we have achieved today and we would not have been able to set up the sporting facilities we now have.”
The work and collaboration that FIFA and FENIFOOT engage in every day has one objective: to prepare for tomorrow and harness the huge potential of a nation of nearly 28 million inhabitants in full. “We spoke a lot about the development of youth and grassroots competitions,” the FENIFOOT President added. “My country has been held back in particular by the fact that we haven’t developed football academies. That’s why we are now trying to create elite training centres to nurture talented players. As you know, you need gifted footballers to make football work and for the national team to go far.”
The FENIFOOT President later met with FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsene Wenger to discuss this issue and continue the productive relationship between world football’s governing body and Niger.