Tuesday 23 January 2024, 12:00

Central African Republic President inaugurates national technical centre

  • Renovated facility is inaugurated by President Faustin-Archange Touadéra

  • The President of the Central African Republic also laid the foundation stone for a second centre dedicated to women’s football

  • Both centres will provide modern facilities to help develop young talent

Football in the Central African Republic has taken a major step forward with the inauguration of the renovated national technical centre, to provide modern facilities for the stars of the future, and the laying of a foundation stone for a second complex which will cater exclusively for women’s football. Both projects are being supported by the FIFA Forward programme.

On a historic day for football in the country, the President of the Central African Republic, Faustin-Archange Touadéra, laid the foundation stone for a women’s national technical centre in Liton on the outskirts of the capital Bangui, before opening the newly-completed centre in Bangui itself. The two centres are part of the country’s efforts to boost the development of young players with the ultimate aim of strengthening the country’s national teams in the future, and create an environment which is conducive to the players’ social and professional development.

FIFA Development Program Coordinator Fatou Binetou, FIFA Regional Director Africa Gelson Fernandes, Central African Republic President Faustin-Archange Touadéra, FIFA MA Development Manager Sanda Rasoamahenina and FIFA Senior IR & PA Manager Céline Zigaul

Célestin Yanindji, the President of the Central African Republic Football Association (FCF), was also present alongside a FIFA delegation led by FIFA Director Member Associations Africa Gelson Fernandes.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino, who visited Bangui in 2021, said the projects were an example of FIFA’s efforts to make football truly global and raise the standard of national team football around the world.

“I am delighted that FIFA has been able to support these projects in the Central African Republic which are another example of how FIFA is present in any country where football is played,” said the FIFA President. “I was amazed by the popularity of the sport during my visit to the country in 2021. It’s very much a football country which stops to watch or listen to broadcasts of the national team matches.

“The Central African Republic has huge football potential and I am sure these new centres will improve the production of local talent, and help the national teams qualify for major tournaments in the future. It is also important that we get more young people involved in football and provide safe spaces for them to play. Football is about joy, happiness and smiles, but it is also a vehicle for young people to learn new skills that equip them for the future.”

Although the men’s national team, known as Les Fauves (the Wild Beasts), have yet to qualify for the FIFA World Cup™ or the CAF Africa Cup of Nations, they came close to qualifying for this year’s tournament in Côte d´Ivoire and the previous edition in Cameroon. Similarly, the women’s team have also yet to play at a major tournament, but the construction of the new centre will give them optimism for the future.

"These technical centres, made possible thanks to the support of FIFA, will help us face the challenges involved in developing young footballers in the Central African Republic," said Mr Yanindji. "They will help us create the conditions for the children and young people of our country to acquire the skills necessary for their professional, sporting and social development."

"The women's technical centre is also designed to encourage girls to continue their studies in favourable conditions, and for our association to be able to better prepare well-educated athletes who are ready to face challenges of the modern day."

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