A delegation from the Guinean Football Association (FGF), headed by its new president, Salifou Camara, who was elected on 18 August, was in Zurich on Wednesday to visit the Home of FIFA. Mr Camara’s team met with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and with a number of other FIFA chiefs to discuss the development of football in Guinea.
Breaking off for an interview with FIFA.com, Mr Camara discussed his objectives in his new post, the progress being made by the national team, and future development projects.
FIFA.com: Can you tell us why you’ve come to Zurich?
Mr Salifou Camara: I’m paying a courtesy visit to President Blatter following the Guinean Football Association elections, which took place on 18 August. As a result, the Executive Board was renamed the Executive Committee, and the number of committee members reduced from 21 to 15, as recommended by FIFA. I was also elected president. So I’ve come to Zurich to say that the Guinean FA is at the service of the football world, of FIFA and of its president. I have also invited Mr Blatter to the opening of Goal Project I, our national academy.
What are your objectives as the new president of the Guinean FA?
Unfortunately we have a lot of construction projects going on and they’re all priority ones. The fact is, though, that I was elected on a programme that put an emphasis on several issues: grassroots football, the relaunching of competitions, making clubs stronger again, the gradual introduction of a professional system, the training of referees, coaches and administrators, and sporting infrastructures. We’re also eligible for the Performance Programme, and a FIFA team will soon be travelling to Conakry (the capital of Guinea) to assess our needs.
What topics did you discuss with the FIFA President?
We spoke to President Blatter about his last trip to Guinea in 2000. At the time we were working on new headquarters for the FA. The budget had been approved and the first stone had even been laid. However, the project never came to fruition because of unexpected circumstances, and the offices were never built. We’d like to get the project up and running again and I’ve come here to tell the FIFA President that.
The national team is doing well, and its qualification for the 2012 African Cup of Nations hinges on the game against Nigeria in October. What would qualifying mean to the country?
It would be a wonderful gift. Since the elections my team has been working doubly hard to get things moving and I think that has given the players hope and filled them with enthusiasm. The Syli Nationale will be giving their all against Nigeria in October in a bid to qualify for the African Cup of Nations, the biggest competition on the continent. I can also say that, with the support of the government, we’ve presented a bid to host the 2019 African Cup of Nations. We hope with all out heart and for the good of Guinean football that it’s successful, so that we can make our mark on history.