Further investments and a commitment for further support were some of the key messages conveyed by FIFA President (www.FIFA.com) Gianni Infantino during his visit to Khartoum, the Sudanese capital. The FIFA President notably met the President of the Transitional Sovereignty Council, Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the Minister of Youth and Sports, Yousif Adam Aldai, and the President of the Sudanese Football Association (SFA), Kamal Shaddad.
This visit enabled the FIFA President and his delegation to revisit the strong history of football in Sudan. Founding member of CAF, alongside Egypt, Ethiopia and South Africa, Sudan was CAF’s first headquarters and also hosted the very first African Cup of Nations in 1957.
“Sudan was a founding member of CAF and was one of the first African nations to join FIFA,” said the FIFA President at Khartoum Stadium, the venue of the 1957 Africa Cup of Nations. “Now we have to work together to bring the success of the past into the future. I can guarantee that FIFA will work closely with the entire football community in Sudan, with women and men, to continue to develop football and bring Sudan back to where it deserves to be, at the top of the world. African football.
The stadium tour was followed by a meeting with Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Yousif Adam Aldai, where the need to restore the rich heritage of Sudanese football and the ways in which FIFA could best help the country to develop and strengthen football through the FIFA Football for Schools program, as well as funding for the renovation of the Khartoum stadium.
“I was saddened when I visited the stadium in Khartoum and witnessed its current state,” the FIFA president said in a subsequent interview with members of the media. “It is a historic place and we must protect and cherish its history. We will invest and work with the government and the SFA to make everyone in Sudan proud of the stadium again.
“We have discussed with the chairman of the transition commission the sovereignty of investment in football, because there are incredible talents in the country to develop,” added the president of FIFA. “We talked about football being part of the school system and about women’s and women’s football – a very important area of football. The Sudanese Football Federation is already doing a great job in this regard, and it can only increase when combined with the continued support of the Sudanese government and FIFA. We are all part of the same team and we will all work together and show that we care about the Sudanese people and the football here.
During the visit, the FIFA President also attended a women’s football training session at the academy located next to the SFA and had the opportunity to meet members of the teams.