Liberian President George Weah Becomes First Ambassador of the Pan-African School Championship

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 Updated on 06/05/2021 às 11h00
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Liberian President George Weah Becomes First Ambassador of the Pan-African School Championship

Members of the African Football Confederation (CAF) and FIFA traveled to Liberia to meet with the Liberian Football Association and the government in the capital Monrovia.

Partnerships with the public and private sectors, greater opportunities for young people through football and the appointment of Liberian President George Weah as the first ambassador for the Pan-African Inter-School Championship were among the topics discussed.

Upon arrival at Monrovia Roberts Airport, the team was greeted by the president of the Liberian Football Association (LFA), Mustapha Raji, members of the LFA Executive Committee and Minister for Youth and Sports, Zeogar Wilson.

In the capital, Mayor Jefferson T. Koijee welcomed the delegation and presented the FIFA president with a key to the city. Subsequently, the visitors participated in a meeting with the LFA, to learn about the challenges faced with the football infrastructure in the country.

CAF President Patrice Motsepe said that Liberia has enormous potential that can be tapped by offering more opportunities for young people through football. He also stressed that working together for the sake of African football is the best way to guarantee the progress of the sport and the continent.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino reinforced this message, referring to the iconic George Weah – now president of Liberia – as a great positive example that football can have in a country. The delegation then met with the Minister of Youth and Sports.

CAF President Motsepe said: “We have listened to your concerns and would like to assure CAF’s commitment to work with Liberian football and government officials to improve the infrastructure of football here.”

FIFA President pledged to strengthen local football

The delegation, together with the Minister of Youth and Sports, also visited the Samuel K Doe Football Complex, which was equipped with a new lawn thanks to funding from a FIFA program. “FIFA believes that all countries should have access to the best quality football fields and facilities and we will work with CAF to bring other improvements to Liberia,” said Infantino.

In an audience with the president of Liberia, George Weah, the strengthening of African and local football were the main topics of the conversation. “We are happy to be in a country so passionate about football. We are here to give you all the support of CAF and FIFA to take football to a new era and we will work with you to do that ”, said the FIFA president.

The negotiations also included the power of football in the economy. “Football and economic development go hand in hand, so let’s try, through football, to invest in job creation. It is also our duty to ensure that the stadiums meet the required standards, and CAF will work with the Liberian authorities to do this, ”quoted CAF President Motsepe.

George Weah became ambassador for Pan-African competition

In addition, the presidents of CAF and FIFA made President Weah official – the only African to win the FIFA Best Player in the World Award in 1996 – as the first ambassador for the Pan-African Inter-School Football Championship.

Infantino said: “President Weah is a football icon and now a respected statesman. FIFA and CAF are very pleased with your support. His stellar football career is an inspiration for young people and we welcome this initiative, supported by the African Union, which will promote national football competitions in schools across Africa. Football offers us a unique opportunity to connect with young people ”.

At the end of the visit to the capital of Liberia, the delegation discussed the advances in the expansion of women’s football in the country and watched a game of youth women’s football at the Antonieta Tubman Stadium. CAF President Motsepe concluded: “We must be proud and grateful to the LFA president for his excellent work. Football has a bright future here. The girl who is going to be the first African winner of the FIFA Best Player Award could be here! ”.