Football development will set the tone for the 63rd FIFA Congress, with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter opening Mauritius’s fourth Goal project – the installation of a football pitch in the Trianon Technical Centre – on Sunday 26 May. Also, the headquarters of the Mauritius FA will be renamed the 'Sepp Blatter Football House' in honour of the FIFA President.
Through an overall Goal investment of nearly $2,000,000 USD, Mauritius’s technical centre has become a key facility for the approximately 80,000 footballers of the tiny Indian Ocean island and one of the most outstanding training complexes of its kind in Africa.
“Throughout the past years, Africa has been the largest recipient of FIFA Goal projects,” said FIFA Director of Member Associations and Development, Thierry Regenass. “Mauritius is a good example of how, in spite of difficult structural and geographical conditions, effective development initiatives can be implemented in a variety of areas, thus making a concrete contribution to local population.”
Besides the setting-up of a modern football infrastructure, Mauritius has also taken centre stage as one of the first countries that has implemented FIFA’s landmark 11 for Health programme. The initiative launched in January 2010 by the Mauritius FA and Mauritius’s government has benefited approximately 20,000 children in their first year of secondary school, who have been taught through a football-based programme how to live a healthy life and avoid diseases.
“The results obtained after the implementation of 11 for Health in Mauritius clearly showed the positive impact football can have as an effective and low-cost tool to prevent diseases,” remarked FIFA Chief Medical Officer, Jiri Dvorak. “The special session we implemented on diabetes proved an excellent platform to tackle one of the major health threats in Mauritius.”
163 Goal projects in Africa
A total of $67,600,000 USD has been made available by FIFA between 1999 and 2012 for the implementation of 163 Goal initiatives in the CAF region. Most part of the funds has been used for the construction and extension of technical centres (73), football pitches (39) and headquarter projects (29). CAF is followed by AFC (147), UEFA (111), CONCACAF (99), OFC (42) and CONMEBOL (35) in the list of Goal beneficiaries.
An additional amount of $259,900,000 USD has been invested since 1999 in Africa through FIFA’s Financial Assistance Programme (FAP). The 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™ marked a special landmark for football development on the African continent with the initiative Win in Africa with Africa making an extra budget of USD 70,000,000 available thanks to the success of previous FIFA World Cup editions.
FIFA’s total investment in Africa between 1999 and 2012 reached $426,517,856 USD.
For a summary of FIFA’s development activities in Africa check the PDF file on the right-hand side of this article.