Infantino: We have to make Lesotho shine
FIFA President Gianni Infantino says the football’s world governing body is committed towards improving the standards of the beautiful game in the African continent by offering new projects that will leave a lasting legacy.
Infantino was speaking during his first ever visit to the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho on Wednesday, where he revealed that he was impressed with the progress made by Lesotho Football Association (LeFA) and the Senior National team-Likuena.
The FIFA boss was accompanied by a delegation that included CAF President Ahmad Ahmad, FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, Deputy Secretary Mattias Grafstrom, Chief Member Associations Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA Foundation CEO and France 1998 World Cup winner, Youri Djorkaeff and Special Advisor to CAF President in legendary Samuel Eto’o.
“We are here in Africa to launch some new ideas, new programmes and new projects, which we are doing incorporation with CAF and with each and every association,” Infantino told a media briefing.
“We have to make the African continent shine, we have to make Lesotho shine, we have to make this country shine in the world. This is our job. We are here today with two World Champions. Youri Djorkaeff, World Champions with France in 1998. Samuel Eto’o with Inter Milan in 2010.
“Our job is to give our children hope and smile. This was the message we exchanged with his Majesty King Letsie III and the Lesotho Prime Minister-Thomas Thabane, with your President, the Executive Committee and the whole football community of Lesotho. Lesotho is a proud country with a rich history. A proud country that is football crazy and it has to continue like this.
“Thank you for living football like we do. Thank you for offering your time, energy and passion to make our children dream, smile and give them hope. Thank you for making your country and Africa shine.”
The FIFA boss also praised the senior National team-Likuena, saying he was impressed by their performance in the recent 2021 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sierra Leone and Nigeria.
“Your team got a draw recently away to Sierra Leone and went down fighting against Nigeria, who are a powerhouse in the world and in African continent. Nigeria is about twenty times the size of Lesotho. You are investing and we are also investing in girls and women football. Your association and the minister is doing a fantastic work and we are proud to work together to make football shine,” the FIFA boss stated.
“I would just like to conclude by again thanking you because we are all part of the same team. Without your dedication and passion, FIFA would not be successful. The success of FIFA is your success. Thank you very much,” he said.