Tuesday 02 May 2023, 19:00

FIFA President holds fruitful talks on football in Tajikistan

  • Gianni Infantino meets Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon in Dushanbe

  • Discusses infrastructure plans with TFF counterpart Rustam Emomali

  • Visits Varzob facility built with help of FIFA Forward funds

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has held talks with the President of Tajikistan Emomali Rahmon and Rustam Emomali, the Mayor of Dushanbe, the Central Asian Football Association (CAFA) President and Tajikistan Football Federation (TFF) President, and pledged continued support in developing the Central Asian country’s football infrastructure. The FIFA President first met Mr Emomali in Dushanbe to discuss the TFF’s work in developing the game thanks in part to the funding provided by the FIFA Forward initiative, which has just moved into a new four-year cycle. “I believe the work of the leadership under President Rustam of the Tajikistan Football Federation has been incredible,” said the FIFA President. “When I see the projects we were discussing today with the president of the federation, also the president of the country and with the whole [Tajikistan] football federation people about youth football, women’s football, men’s football, futsal for men and for women – I can really see a country that is a young country, a country which however is very, very rich in culture and history, and a country which is projected to the future of the youth.”

Mr Infantino then met with President Rahmon before heading to the eighth CAFA Congress to deliver a speech and witness Mr Emomali’s unopposed re-election as CAFA President by the six member associations, Afghanistan, IR Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, for a second four-year term. As TFF President, Mr Emomali has overseen the use of FIFA Forward funds to implement a wide range of projects, including a TFF Football Academy to smooth the pathway from grassroots football to national youth teams, the development of a national youth league, and even the purchase of equipment for the TFF’s own Outside Broadcast (OB) van so footage can be broadcast via satellite. Work on a national stadium is already in progress, and on a visit to Varzob, north of Dushanbe, to see for himself how some of the FIFA Forward money is being invested, Mr Infantino said FIFA would help the TFF build on the solid foundations they have already laid.

“FIFA will invest in the next four years over USD 8 million in projects here in Tajikistan and this is just the beginning of what we can do, because we need places where girls and boys can play, in schools, in villages, and then we need a few state-of-the-art stadiums where teams can perform. “For this we need the engagement of everyone. I know when you speak with [national] politicians, with heads of state, heads of government, mayors, they have many other priorities, but I can assure them and I can assure you that investment in football infrastructure is an investment for society, it’s an investment for the future, it’s an investment for the youth, for the children.”