the expansion of the participation of African selections in the World Cup will contribute to the development of football in the Continent

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said on Thursday in Kigali that expanding the participation of African national teams in the final stages of the World Cup will contribute to the development of African football and provide more opportunities for talent in the continent.

Infantino who was speaking at a press conference on the occasion of his re-election for a third term at the head of FIFA during the Congress of the Authority, held in the Rwandan capital, underlined that FIFA has decided to increase to 9 the number of places reserved for African teams at the 2026 World Cup and to increase the number of women’s teams at the 2023 World Cup, noting that these decisions provide more opportunities for football talents in the continent.

“I love African football (…) and I believe that Africa is full of enormous footballing talents, so we are working with the head of the world football development system within FIFA, Arsene Wenger, and African countries that do not have capabilities like European countries or developed countries, with the aim of providing more opportunities for the football talents that abound on the continent,” added the FIFA President.

Infantino noted that the expansion of participation of African teams in the final stages of the World Cup, in addition to the launch by FIFA of a program to develop continental competitions for age groups over the next four years, will have a big impact on the future of African football and will help many young players to hone their skills.

“I am convinced that we will achieve promising results in the near future (…) We saw the Moroccan national team reach the semi-finals of the last World Cup, and let’s see if an African team is able to win the World Cup in the years to come,” he stressed.

On the other hand, Infantino expressed his pride after his re-election at the head of FIFA, stressing that more than “200 FIFA member federations believe that we have done a good job in recent years and that we will do the same in this new four-year mandate on the basis of the program which I presented today and which was approved by a majority”.

Infantino also addressed the criticism, which he called “unwarranted”, of FIFA and its president by the media, calling on journalists to be objective in handling issues related to competitions under the aegis of FIFA. The FIFA President concluded by emphasizing that the next Women’s World Cup scheduled for this year in Australia and New Zealand should be a celebration of women’s football and an opportunity to spread positive messages.

The 73rd FIFA Congress re-elected in the morning Gianni Infantino for a third four-year term as FIFA President.

Gianni Infantino, without competition, was elected to the presidency of FIFA by acclamation during the 73rd Congress of the body which brought together in the Rwandan capital the 211 member federations, including the Royal Moroccan Football Federation.

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