Sunday Feb 21, 2021. 15:00
Gianni Infantino, the president of world football governing body FIFA, has visited Mauritania, Senegal, Central African Republic and Rwanda ahead of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) presidential elections.
The FIFA boss opened his African tour in Mauritania, inaugurating the Stade Municipal de Nouadhibou and its new artificial turf pitch courtesy of the FIFA Forward programme.
Infantino met with Ahmed Yahya, president of the Mauritanian Football Federation, who is among the candidates hoping to win the CAF presidential election in March, while he is also due to hold a joint media conference with another presidential hopeful, South Africa’s Patrice Motsepe, later in the tour.
The FIFA head honcho then travelled to Senegal, where he held court with Senegalese president Macky Sall and Senegalese Football Federation boss Augustin Senghor, who is another in the running for CAF’s top job.
“President Sall is a huge football fan and of course a proud supporter of the Teranga Lions, and I was especially pleased to discuss with him the solid steps taken by the FSF and its President Augustin Senghor to consistently improve football in Senegal, which is a great football country not only in Africa, but at a world level,” Gianni Infantino said, as quoted by Inside the Games.
“We also talked about the importance of FIFA and our African football associations working together, in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity for the benefit of the millions of football fans on this great continent.
“Senegal has obviously an important role at the international level and I am delighted to see the progress it has been making at all different levels of our sports, including youth and women’s football.”
Infantino was presented with the National Order of Recognition on his visit to the Central African Republic, before then visiting Kigali to open a FIFA Regional Development Office in the Rwandan capital.
Yahya, Senghor and Motsepe are three of the candidates approved to stand in the CAF presidential election, while honorary president of the Ivorian Football Federation Jacques Anouma is also among the contenders. The CAF elections will be held on March 12 in Rabat, Morocco.