FIFA president Gianni Infantino has reiterated he is fully supportive of the Government’s ambitious project to establish 8 000 grassroots football clubs throughout the country to spur the development of sport. Infantino wrote to Sports and Recreation Minister Makhosini HIongwane this week advising him that the project had the full backing of the world football governing body.
“Dear Minister, the FIFA delegation has now returned to Zurich with a host of unforgettable memories and having made many warm-hearted new friendships,” Infantino wrote.
“On behalf of the entire delegation, l would like to thank you wholeheartedly for the audience you granted us and aII your attention towards us during our stay in your country. “The talks we had were marked by sincere friendship and mutual respect. Your ambitious project to put in place in the establishment of 8 000 clubs throughout the whole country will have a huge impact in football in Zimbabwe.
“FIFA fully supports the project, which covers grassroots football development throughout the country. I can assure you that this visit has given me fresh determination to help the Zimbabwe Football Association to continue to develop football.
“Finally, I would like to thank you for your contribution to supporting football and promoting the values of our sport in your country.”
Infantino also wrote to ZIFA president Philip Chiyangwa to thank him for the hospitality they enjoyed during their two-day visit to Zimbabwe.
“On behalf of the entire delegation, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for affording us such a cordial welcome and warm hospitality.
“In just two days, we enjoyed so many memorable moments, culminating with the celebration of your birthday at Rainbow Towers and the courtesy visit to His Excellency the President R. G. Mugabe.
“But it would be remiss of me if I failed to mention the meeting with the stakeholders of the Zimbabwean football community. AII of the discussions we had on these occasions were marked by sincere friendship and respect and these beautiful, joyful moments will live Iong in our hearts.
“I can assure you that this visit has given me fresh determination to help you to continue to develop football in your country. “I Iook forward to seeing you next week in Addis Ababa at the 39th CAF Ordinary General Assembly.”
Chiyangwa is in Egypt on the invitation of that country’s football authorities and is scheduled to return home this weekend. The COSAFA president has also hailed Zambia and South Africa for qualifying for the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
“Hats off to our neighbours and COSAFA members, Zambia and South Africa, for making it to the World Cup, the biggest football tournament and a dream for every nation and footballer.
“It is a landmark for Southern Africa to have two representatives at a World Cup; I can only say the future is bright.
“To the boys; continue to shine even when you come up against teams from other continents and make Southern Africa and Africa proud; conquer the world,” Chiyangwa said