Ahead of this month’s CAF election, FIFA President Gianni Infantino is worried with the tortoise-paced football growth on the Africa continent and says the time has come for Africa to establish itself in the category of movers of world football.
In a four-hour working visit to Ghana, where he paid a courtesy call on President Nana Akufo-Addo at the Flagstaff House, the Swiss advised that Africa should accelerate the speed of the growth of the game.
Infantino in a chat with President Akufo-Addo, recalled memories of how Africa was touted as the next big thing to happen in football but still lags behind after 35 years.
“I remember some of my fond memories about Africa football were the 1982 World Cup when Italy played Cameroon,” he recalled.
“Since then, everyone was saying that Africa football was the future; in 1992, Africa was the future, in the 2000s, [it’s same]…,” he said.
“We have to make it to the present. We need to move from the ’future’ to the present. And we can come and move to the present only if we establish some facts. First, we have to recognize the contribution of African Football to world football…” Infantino told the President of Ghana.
Gianni Infantino then spoke of the new Fifa under his watch and the decision to champion the development of the game in Africa.
“…I like to speak with facts and action; this is also part of good governance which is and has been necessary in Fifa. So completely, in Africa, Fifa was investing $27million every year throughout the continent for football development projects until 2015.
“As of 2016, we are investing $94million. We multiplied by 3-and-half, the direct investment into African football with the same revenues. So this money was spent already in the past by Fifa,” he noted.