Johannesburg - The president of FIFA, Gianni Infantino, showered praise on the South African Football Association (SAFA) for an extremely successful organisation of the first ever FIFA Football Summit on African soil.
This was also the first official visit by Infantinoto South Africa since his election into office last year.
The Summit, with a theme that mainly focused on football development, was held at the Sandton Convention Centre from 21-23 February and was attended by FA presidents from across the world.
The FIFA president thanked SAFA president Dr Danny Jordaan for an impressive presentation on various aspects of the global game.
Jordaan also touched on Vision 2022 blueprint which involves the completion of the SAFA National Technical Centre, youth development, coaching education and various other components that ensure achieving sustainable success.
“I am highly impressed by what SAFA has achieved; the SAFA HQ is highly impressive and the plans for the National Technical Centre will make SAFA an example for other FAs on the continent,” said Infantino.
Dr Jordaan’s presentation was also lauded by various other FA presidents, especially those from the African continent.
Football Development, Youth and Women Competition were also a major focus of the Summit.
President Infantino’s presentation on the 48-team FIFA World Cup proposal received a unanimous endorsement; something that the SAFA president has long expressed his support as a forward thinking initiative.
“The FIFA World Cup has always provided places for between 15 and 20 percent of the total FIFA membership eg, in 1966 there were 16 team of a total membership of 70; 1982 (24 teams of 107 membership); 1998 (32 teams of 170 membership) and in 2026 48 teams of 211 membership.”
Dr Jordaan said it was therefore not the first time that ‘we see an increase on the membership of participating teams in the FIFA World Cup.’
FIFA will provide each national association with $1.2 million annually over the next five years, a move that will help development of the game especially in developing countries.