The offices of the Côte d’Ivoire Football Federation (FIF) in Abidjan provided the venue for two very important ceremonies last Saturday.

The first of them involved the signing of a partnership agreement with FIFA for the implementation of the GOAL IV Project, and the second the presentation of balls and shirts for the Ivorian Deaf Sports Association (FSS).

In the latest phase of the Goal Project, which is being co-funded by the FIF and FIFA, the headquarters of the governing body of Ivorian football will be extended to incorporate the head office of the country’s professional league, which is currently located elsewhere.

Work will begin at the end of February and is scheduled to last 18 months. FIFA will allocate $400,000 for the project, with the FIF providing $310,000. Part of the outlay will be spent on fitting out the various offices and the conference room forming part of the extension project.

“The choice of Côte d’Ivoire as the beneficiary of the Goal IV Project is an indication of the faith FIFA has in the country,” said Kablan Sampon, FIFA Development Officer for West Africa, who represented world football’s governing body at the signing ceremony.

The choice of Côte d’Ivoire as the beneficiary of the Goal IV Project is an indication of the faith FIFA has in the country.

Kablan Sampon, FIFA Development Officer for West Africa

Also taking part was FIF President Jacques Anouma, who also sits on the FIFA Executive Committee. “More than anything else, FIFA know we will make good use of their grants, and that’s why they’re taking an interest in Côte d’Ivoire,” he said.

Approved last October, the Goal IV Project agreements were signed by Sampon, President Anouma, the project consultant and a local businessman involved in the initiative, with a number of journalists and FIF committee members also in attendance.

In the day’s other ceremony FIFA presented 60 footballs and three sets of shirts to the Côte d’Ivoire Deaf Sports Association, which governs eight different sports played by the country’s hearing-impaired athletes. The donation, valued at $2,000, came in response to a request made by the Association for support from FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter.

As well as thanking Blatter for his assistance and expressing his gratitude to Sampon and President Anouma, FSS President Nde Atse Sebastien also took the opportunity to ask the FIF for technical support in staging the African Deaf Sports Championships, to be held in Côte d’Ivoire in 2012.