Wednesday 03 May 2023, 07:30

FIFA President congratulates CAFA President on re-election

  • Gianni Infantino attends 8th CAFA Congress in Dushanbe, Tajikistan

  • FIFA President praises Rustam Emomali’s “great job” at the head of regional body

  • Tajikistan Football Federation President re-elected for second term leading CAFA

FIFA President Gianni Infantino congratulated Rustam Emomali after the Tajikistan Football Federation (TFF) President was re-elected unopposed for a second term as President of the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) on Tuesday. Mr. Infantino attended the eighth CAFA Congress in the Tajik capital Dushanbe, giving a speech to its six member associations, Afghanistan, IR Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, who endorsed Mr. Emomali remaining in office.

“Today, there was also an election with the president - who is also the president of the Tajikistan Football Federation - being re-elected for another four-year term in testimony of his great job in Tajikistan and for CAFA,” said Mr. Infantino, who was joined as a guest at the Congress by FIFA Senior Vice-President and Asian Football Confederation (AFC) President Shaikh Salman bin Ebrahim Al Khalifa. “My congratulations to him, to all the delegates, all the presidents of the six CAFA countries, and I’m looking forward to working together with the AFC [Asian Football Confederation] and CAFA, and with the six countries for the future.”

Through to 2026, FIFA Forward 3.0 is set to provide $5 million annually to zonal associations such as CAFA to organise competitions for men, women and youth, while FIFA’s Talent Development Scheme and Women’s Football Development Programme will continue contributing to the game’s growth in the region. That will underpin the efforts of CAFA, which has been at the forefront of making football more accessible throughout Central Asia. It staged a number of tournaments from U14 to U19 level for men and U15 to senior level for women last year, and soon a flagship men’s championship will see the light of day.

“Six member countries - very, very active in organising tournaments [and] events for boys, for girls, youths, and senior teams,” said President Infantino, who cited June’s inaugural 2023 CAFA Nations Cup in the Kyrgyz Republic and Uzbekistan as a further sign of growth. “For the first time this year, there will also be a CAFA Nations Cup, which will be a fantastic event. At FIFA level, we are going to see how we can upgrade on that.”