Saturday 19 October 2019, 13:45

FIFA President Infantino makes first visit to Laos

On the fifth day of an extensive tour of Asia, FIFA President Gianni Infantino arrived in Vientiane, Laos, where he held discussions with the local football and governmental authorities on the progress of the sport in the country.

It was the first time that the FIFA President visited the Southeast Asian nation. Upon his arrival, he had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith. The two leaders notably shared views on the important role that football can play in society, particularly in a country with a very young population such as the People’s Democratic Republic of Laos.

The programme continued with a series of discussions about football development with the Laos Football Federation (LFF) leadership, a visit to the National Stadium, to the LFF headquarters and to the training centre of the LFF, where the FIFA President, along with the CEO of the FIFA Foundation and former world champion Youri Djorkaeff, gave the official kick-off for the LFF U-15 Championship. The training centre itself was funded through the FIFA Forward Football Development Programme and was highlighted as a good example of the kind of initiatives that the LFF can undertake for the development of football with the support of the local government and the world governing body.

"In a football-passionate country like Laos, it is essential to further invest in the development of our sport, notably in infrastructures, competitions, as well as grassroots and technical development," said Infantino. "As discussed with the Prime Minister, we also need to use the social aspect of our sport for positive change. Football can be a school of life and it is our duty to unveil its unique power for all these young boys and girls, who are the future of the country."