Friday 22 September 2023, 13:30

Gianni Infantino discusses local and regional topics with the President of Comoros

  • The two leaders meet for the second time in six months to assess latest developments

  • FIFA President highlights "historic step" as 11 Comoran women become first to complete recognised coaching course

  • President Assoumani is also the current Chairperson of the African Union, with whom FIFA and CAF signed an MoU in 2019

FIFA President Gianni Infantino has discussed a range of local and regional topics with Comoran President and current Chairperson of the African Union, His Excellency Azali Assoumani, at a meeting in New York which was held on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The meeting provided both leaders with the opportunity to assess African developments in line with the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by FIFA, the African Union and the Confédération Africaine de Football (CAF) in 2019. Equally, local topics in Comoros were on the agenda, in particular following the award of the first coaching licences to women in the archipelago which took place earlier this week when the Technical Director of the Comoran Football Association (FFC) handed over D Licence diplomas to the 11 women who have successfully completed the course that started last November.

"I was pleased to meet His Excellency Azali Assoumani, as it facilitated a review of the progress made across Africa in relation to the Memorandum of Understanding with the African Union, and how his support as Chairperson is appreciated in the implementation of common strategies and programmes with a focus on the areas of education, good governance and the fight against corruption, as well as safety and security at football matches across the continent," said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. "This is especially important as we also work closely with the Confédération Africaine de Football with the launch of the African Football League which is sure to help take club football there to the next level."

"It was also fantastic to hear about recent developments in Comoros in relation to coach licensing," the FIFA President added. "This is another historic step not only for Comoran football, but for the women's game as a whole, and I am sure this will be a real inspiration to local women to play football, and it will make it clear there are other avenues open to them to become involved in the game."

In January 2023, Comoros became the first country in the Indian Ocean to sign up to the FIFA Football for Schools programme, an initiative which aims to harness the power of football to educate children and open up life opportunities for them. Thanks to support and encouragement from FIFA, the FFC has also worked hard to open the game up to women.

In addition to the coaching programme, regional leagues have been put in place over the last three years with the competition also featuring a national phase which brings together the best teams. These developments will serve to strengthen the women's national team, which took part in the inaugural Four Nations Cup in Saudi Arabia in January 2023. They lost narrowly to Pakistan and the hosts but defeated Mauritius to serve notice of the strides they have made to become a force on the international stage.

The FIFA President visited Comoros in April 2023, meeting President Assoumani and members of the FFC Executive Committee. He was given a tour of the national technical centre at Mitsamiouli, which is being renovated with support from the FIFA Forward programme, and helped inaugurate a new turf pitch with the island nation displaying its commitment to raising standards.