Monday Nov 25, 2019. 13:00
FIFA president Infantino arrived in Madagascar where he will meet the Confederation of African Football (CAF) president Ahmad, part of a lengthy tour of the African continent as he seeks to win favour in the powerful voting bloc.
Infantino will also make his way through Mozambique, Lesotho, Angola, DR Congo, Congo and Malawi on what is essentially a promotion tour.
The Malagasy football association has been under a ‘normalisation committee’ appointed by FIFA for the past 12 months as it battles with governance issues.
“I’m happy to be back in Africa, a place where I feel so at home,” he said on arrival in Madagascar. “We are delighted to be here and to start our African tour in your country. We intend to do great things for African football, restoring the hope of many and bring smiles to the faces of millions of children in Africa.”
Infantino has been joined by powerful figures in the global game, including FIFA General Secretary and General Delegate for Africa Fatma Samoura, Deputy Secretary General Mattias Grafström, Chief Member Associations Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba, former French international and FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff, and FIFA Legend and Special Advisor to CAF President Samuel Eto’o.
Ahmad, who has led a turbulent reign as CAF president that has been dogged by scandals, which has led to FIFA taking a more hands-on role in the governance of the sport on the continent, spoke only briefly on the delegation’s arrival in his home country.
“We are delighted to receive the FIFA President in a continent where he feels very at home, Africa,” he said.