Thursday 22 February 2018, 08:38

Presidents and goalscorers meet at the Elysee Palace

  • President Infantino among President Macron’s guests at the Elysee Palace

  • Lunch held to mark the visit to France of Liberian president George Weah

  • Ahmad Ahmad, Noel Le Graet, Didier Drogba and Kylian Mbappe also among the guests

FIFA President Gianni Infantino was among the famous footballing personalities invited to a lunch by the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, as part of his meeting with his Liberian counterpart – and former footballing superstar – George Weah on 21 February 2018.

There was a number of other high-profile guests at the lunch, including the Presidents of the African Football Confederation – Ahmad Ahmad – and the French Football Federation – Noel Le Graet. As well as those involved on the administrative side, there were also a current and past football star in the shape of France and Paris Saint-Germain icon Kylian Mbappe, and former Côte d’Ivoire goal-getter Didier Drogba, who is now an ambassador for Ligue 1 in France.

Weah recently won the presidential election in his home country of Liberia, but before that, he made a name for himself the world over for his goal-scoring prowess, including at AS Monaco and Paris Saint-Germain, winning the Ballon d’Or in 1995. President Macron therefore thought it only right to invite various people from the world of football to mark the first official visit to France of the new Liberian president. Among the topics of discussion between the two leaders was the creation of a platform to finance sports-based projects in Africa.

"The election of George Weah as president of Liberia has given fresh impetus to what the sport in general and football in particular to do in terms of education and development in Africa. We are proud to be part of this project," said President Infantino, confirming FIFA’s support for this development initiative which will be led by the French Development Agency (AFD) and the African Development Bank (BAD).