A meeting with President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, a national honor of the Central African Republic, and a presentation of a pioneering project involving the Football Association of the Central African Republic (RCA), the French Football Federation (FFF) and FIFA (www. FIFA.com) highlighted the first visit of FIFA President Gianni Infantino to Bangui.
The Renaissance Palace served as the setting for the meeting with President Touadéra, where the strategy to introduce practical steps to encourage more young people to play football was discussed, along with performances by the national team ‘Les Fauves’ (the Beasts Savages) and their aspirations. Subsequently, the Prime Minister of the Central African Republic, Firmin Ngrébada, awarded the honor of the National Order of Recognition, which was awarded at the rank of commander, to the President of FIFA at the headquarters of the CAR PM.
“I am truly honored to receive this honor. Football can contribute, even a little bit, to improving people’s lives a little, being a symbol of unity, peace and solidarity, ”said the FIFA president.
The timing of the FIFA President’s visit was significant for several reasons. For the first time in history, a team representing the Central African Republic qualified for a continental competition as it competes in the 2021 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, which is currently being played in Mauritania.
“Football can play an important role in bringing people together and uniting them through their love of the game,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “[I am very happy]work with President Célestin Yanindji and the federation, team up with the government, advance all the projects currently underway and some others to follow.
“The country stops to watch or listen to radio broadcasts of the National Team’s matches. This is a soccer country, so it was about time I came to Bangui for the first time. FIFA needs to be present where football is played. FIFA has to be everywhere in the world, in every country. So it was time for me to come and I’m happy to be here. “
The FIFA delegation also had the opportunity to discuss the Technical Support Program (TAP), established as a partnership with RCA and FFF, with funding from FIFA Forward. As a medium-term initiative, the program aims to train and certify coaches, encourage more young people to play football, discover and develop talents and promote women’s football. The visit to the Central African Republic provided an opportunity for the delegation to go over the details at the CAR headquarters in Gbangouma, where they also met with association staff.
“FIFA is working with the RCA and the government to introduce new initiatives through football, which will encourage young people to use sport as a vehicle to learn new skills that prepare them for the future,” added the president of FIFA. “Furthermore, and together with the FFF, FIFA is implementing the first technical assistance program here in the Central African Republic. This is a pilot project, but it can also serve as an example for other countries, and it is something we want to replicate in other parts of the world ”.
“I would like to thank FIFA for their support in helping to develop football in the Central African Republic, and especially, I would like to thank FIFA President Gianni Infantino for being here in Bangui, as he shows that FIFA really he cares about how we live football on the ground, ”said RCA President Célestin Yanindji. “For us, FIFA is an essential partner. They have so many projects in mind and they provide the necessary means to turn ideas into reality ”.
“The message really, for all the people of the Central African Republic, is that FIFA is with them, that FIFA is here and present,” concluded the FIFA President. “We are here to invest. We are here to build. We are here to give hope and smile. Concretely, not only with words, since we are talking about concrete projects to help support and develop football ”.
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