President Gianni Infantino has met with the President of the Republic of Benin, Patrice Talon, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports, Oswald Homeky, and the President of the Beninese Football Association (FEBEFOOT President), Mathurin de Chacus, to discuss the ongoing development of football in the country, together with the challenges that face African football going forward.
The meetings, held in Cotonou, took place exactly five years after Gianni Infantino won the elections for the FIFA Presidency in 2016.
“The football passion here in Benin is incredible and the love for our game is heartwarming and inspirational,” the FIFA President said.
Benin and FIFA continue to work together on FIFA’s Football for Schools initiative, which promotes safe and healthy lifestyles for young people
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“I want to commend President Talon for the investment his government has made for football, and the good work carried on by FEBEFOOT in nurturing football talent to improve skills and develop the game throughout this great nation. We need countries who can be models for others to follow both in the region and in the world, and Benin can very well be one of those models. We look forward to working even more closely with the government and FEBEFOOT to elevate football in Benin to the highest levels.”
The importance of promotion of sports and football in particular, through schools, a common theme throughout the FIFA President’s tour of Africa was one of the key topics in the discussions with the authorities. Among other projects, Benin and FIFA continue to work together on FIFA’s Football for Schools initiative, which promotes safe and healthy lifestyles for young people and teaches them life skills through football, and the Pan-African football tournament for schools was also discussed.
“We thank FIFA and FIFA President Infantino for returning to Benin, as it was here, two years ago that the signature of the first-ever memorandum of understanding on FIFA’s Football for Schools initiative took place,” said FEBEFOOT President Mathurin de Chacus.
“Since Gianni Infantino was elected as FIFA President, he has shown a strong commitment in supporting African football with several initiatives. I commend the FIFA President for all he has done in the past five years to support football in Benin, in Africa, and worldwide.”
In addition, the Benin government and FEBEFOOT reiterated their commitment to develop various projects as a result of funding from FIFA’s Forward programme, including a Football Centre of Excellence in N’Dali, a city located in the northern part of the country.