FIFA chief Infantino pledges support to Zimbabwe

Harare, Feb 25 (IANS) Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) president Gianni Infantino has met Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and pledged support towards development of football in the country.

Infantino was accompanied by his secretary general Fatma Samoura and other top world and African football executives during the closed door meeting with Mugabe at State House that lasted an hour on Friday, state-run news agency New Ziana reported.

Infantino and his colleagues were in Zimbabwe for a joint celebration of Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president Phillip Chiyangwa’s birthday as well as his elevation to head the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA), reports Xinhua news agency.

President Mugabe is a self-declared lover of football.

Infantino told journalists after the meeting that the international governing body of soccer was working on a number of projects to develop the sport in Zimbabwe.

“There are some concrete projects which have already started which we are fully supporting and we would like to thank the government for having embraced these projects such as the project to create 8,000 football clubs around the whole country to develop grassroots football in a structured way from the grassroots up the pyramid to the elite football,” he was quoted as saying.

Infantino said they also discussed the project of a national football academy in Zimbabwe which they hop would revolutionise football in the country.

Zimbabwe finished last with only one point in the group stage of the recent 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.

–IANS

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