Sunday 29 May 2022, 10:00

Collaboration the focal point of discussions

  • Fresh round of meetings at FIFA’s Paris office

  • Gianni Infantino hosts a number of delegations

  • Several host nations of past and future tournaments in attendance

Not for the first time, Paris was the capital of planet football on Saturday, as a host of member association delegations from around the world converged on FIFA’s office on the Place de la Concorde, where they were welcomed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino. As on previous days, discussions focused on FIFA’s various development programmes, among them FIFA Forward and Football for Schools, and on the organisation of tournaments by host nations. These work closely with world football’s governing body in preparing competitions in advance, ensuring they are as well organised as possible, and making the most of legacy. spoke to the various national association presidents following their meetings with Infantino and asked them for their reactions. Cindy Cone, President of the U.S. Soccer Federation 🇺🇸 “Obviously, everyone is preparing for the 2022 World Cup, but with USA, Mexico and Canada co-hosting the FIFA World Cup™ in 2026, we are focusing on that competition and looking at how we can work together. We have to develop our game before, during and after 2026 by harnessing the legacy that the World Cup will leave in all three countries." Tomas Danilevičius, President of the Lithuanian Football Federation 🇱🇹 “The Futsal World Cup was the greatest sporting event ever held in Lithuania and it was just amazing. Both futsal and football have grown in popularity and we’ve increased the number of registered players.”

 FIFA President Gianni Infantino (R) with Lithuanian Football Federation President Tomas Danilevicius (R)

Ramon Jesurun, President of the Colombian Football Association 🇨🇴 “Since the arrival of President Infantino we have been able to communicate much more directly with FIFA. Since he has come in, we have looked at every issue – problems, positive aspects, strengths and weaknesses – in a way that is a lot more direct. And there’s no question that the results have been very positive.” Armand Duka, President of the Football Association of Albania 🇦🇱 “The Football Association of Albania has been a member of FIFA since 1932, for fully 90 years. FIFA has always given its proactive support for the growth of football in Albania, a small and relatively underdeveloped country. That support has been stepped up recently, however, as the last three years have shown. In that time, we have built an academy and a new head office for the national association, and this has only been made possible by the FIFA Forward project.” Andrew Kamanga, President of the Football Association of Zambia 🇿🇲 “The Forward programme has really been a catalyst for the development of football in Africa and we hope that FIFA will continue to support member associations by covering their operational expenditure and funding projects. In our case, we have four stadiums that are currently being refurbished thanks to FIFA.”

FIFA President Gianni Infantino (R) with Football Association of Zambia President Andrew Kamanga (L)

Ednaldo Rodrigues, President of the Brazilian Football Association (CBF) 🇧🇷 “The main points we discussed were support and collaboration between the CBF and FIFA, particularly in terms of grassroots football, women’s football and professional football. We spoke about violence in the stadiums, racism, and establishing closer ties between our two organisations to ensure that social and sporting projects can move forward in a more fluid and less bureaucratic way." Pablo Milad, President of the Chilean Football Association 🇨🇱 “We work continually with FIFA, both on the development of football and on education through the Football for Schools programme, which helps boys and girls to grow and develop through football. And we can see the results. We really feel supported by FIFA and that we’re part of the same organisation thanks to its permanent programmes, not just in South America but throughout the world.” Agustin Lozano, President of the Peruvian Football Association 🇵🇪 “The meeting with FIFA President Gianni Infantino centred on the FIFA U-17 World Cup to be held in Peru next year. We spoke about where we’re getting things right as a country and what we need to do to improve to make the tournament an attractive proposition and effective in the sense that it will leave a legacy for the football world.” Robert Harrison, President of the Paraguayan Football Association 🇵🇾 “I’m just happy to have visited the President. We spoke about the strategic development plans we’re implementing in Paraguay. We’ll soon be finished building our High Performance Women’s Football Centre, and we spoke about the project’s progress. He will be coming over soon to open it.” Fernando Costa, President of the Bolivian Football Association 🇧🇴 “We are working in close coordination with FIFA and we would like to express our gratitude to them for their support. We are now working on a very important project: building a centre for our national team. Bolivian football has been waiting for one for several years now and thanks to FIFA we are about to start work on it this year.”

Ignacio Alonso, President of the Uruguayan Football Association 🇺🇾 “We had a great chat with FIFA President Gianni Infantino about the next World Cup in Qatar. We spoke about how each national team can best prepare for the competition. I can’t wait for it to come around and I hope our team will be competitive and maybe even lift trophy.” Agim Ademi, President of the Football Federation of Kosovo 🇽🇰 “The results speak for themselves. None of the projects we have presented to FIFA have been rejected. They’ve all been approved. We are developing thanks to the help and support of FIFA.” Over the course of this last week, around 20 national associations have visited FIFA’s Paris office and met with President Infantino. Created for the member associations, the office is a perfect setting for meeting and for exchanging views and has a bright future ahead of it.