Infantino delivers a historic address in Africa

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 01: Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA congratulates Almoez Ali of Qatar following the AFC Asian Cup final match between Japan and Qatar at Zayed Sports City Stadium on February 01, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 01: Gianni Infantino, president of FIFA congratulates Almoez Ali of Qatar following the AFC Asian Cup final match between Japan and Qatar at Zayed Sports City Stadium on February 01, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Francois Nel/Getty Images)

The FIFA president spoke to the 32nd Ordinary Assembly of the African Union in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia.

For the first time in history, a FIFA president has spoken to the Ordinary Assembly of the African Union.

The talk happened today in the 32nd Ordinary Assembly, in Addis Adaba, Ethiopia.

Infantino spoke to 55 countries, which are chaired by Rwanda’s president Paul Kagame, and Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Africa is a continent that has always been very close to my heart,” he told the FIFA official website.

“I have fond memories of watching the FIFA World Cup 1982 in Spain, when Cameroon quite seriously challenged my home team Italy, and when Algeria defeated West Germany before West Germany made it to the final against Italy, who won the competition.”

“Football fans around the world were convinced that the African teams would soon reach the level of the best European teams,” he added.

“I’m sad to say that almost 40 years later African teams haven’t been able to make this shift and to reach the final stages of a FIFA World Cup, despite their impressive performances during the FIFA World Cups 2002 and 2010, and more recently during the FIFA World Cup Russia.”

FIFA president calls for racism to end: “It’s not acceptable”

FIFA president Gianni Infantino is working hard to stamp out racism from football following a number of incidents in recent weeks.

“This situation must change because of the great passion your continent has for football. Quite simply put, Africa lives football!” he commented.

“I believe that just as Africa gives so much of its passion and positivity to football that football can give back to Africa and help the continent’s people in key areas: economic growth, education, gender mainstreaming, integration and football governance.”

“This project [FIFA’s Football for Schools initiative] is about life skills, not football skills,” he explained.

“We are excited about our Football for Schools project, which will provide a great platform to educate children – through football, as football is not just a sport but also a way of living.”

“The implementation of the Football for Schools projects will go a long way on furthering social values and promoting safer and better lifestyles for millions of children around the globe and I call on you all here to support us in this endeavor and to be part of this culture for change,” he concluded.