Friday 22 September 2023, 16:00

Gianni Infantino and United Nations General Assembly President discuss football’s societal role

  • FIFA President meets Dennis Francis, President of the UNGA, in New York

  • Discussions centred around further ways for both organisations to work together

  • FIFA and the UN have a proud history of using football for the benefit of society

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has met Dennis Francis, the President of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), in New York with two leaders discussing ways in which football can play a positive role in society and education, as well as opportunities to strengthen the institutional relationship between their organisations.

The UNGA President noted that there are complex problems in the world and that everyone needs to contribute to solve these issues. He supported Mr Infantino for bringing people together and showed gratitude for the joy that FIFA events bring to the world by lifting people up, showcasing the power of sport to do good - a point also highlighted by the FIFA President.

“It was great to have the opportunity to meet with Dennis Francis, the President of the United Nations General Assembly, in New York and to discuss football’s societal and educational role,” said the FIFA President. “We live in a difficult time and we need occasions to unite. The UN Charter is about people and we all have a social responsibility to give hope and lift people up. FIFA is ready to help by offering our platforms to contribute to the advancement of all the work the United Nations is doing. Our tournaments enjoy billions of viewers and as FIFA has even more members than the United Nations, we want to harness our 211 member associations to be supporters for change. As we say in football, we win as a team, and FIFA and the United Nations are on the same team.”

In recent years, FIFA has partnered with multiple UN agencies to run social campaigns to invest in humanity and make positive change. The ongoing FIFA Football for Schools programme was high on the agenda, where the two leaders discussed the current success of the project and possible collaborations in the future.

FIFA Football for Schools is run in collaboration with UNESCO, which contributes to the education, development and empowerment of hundreds of millions of children globally. It makes football more accessible to girls and boys around the world by incorporating football activities into the education system, in partnership with relevant local authorities and stakeholders. The programme has been designed to promote targeted life skills and competencies through football and contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other such priorities.