France’s Secretary of State for Sport, Rama Yade, paid a visit to the Home of FIFA in Zurich on Monday, 29 March, 2010. One of the rising stars of French politics, Yade was appointed to the government in May 2007 as Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Human Rights. Since moving posts just under a year ago, the 33-year-old has been responsible for the future prospects of French sport in general and football in particular.

Following a recent tour of South Africa in January, where she visited the Football for Hope Centre in Khayelitsha, Cape Town, the Secretary of State met with FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter on Monday. The meeting notably provided an opportunity to discuss the 2010 edition of the FIFA World Cup™, which is being held on African soil for the first time.

The French public is quite demanding, which is completely natural. However, we have to get fully behind the team and leave Raymond Domenech alone to get on with the job.

France’s Secretary of State for Sport Rama Yade on the chances of Les Bleus

The event is a powerful symbol for Yade, who was born in Dakar, in Senegal. "It’s a source of pride for all Africans to welcome this major competition,” said the French politician. "The continent will have the chance to feel that it can play a leading role on the international stage and promote a positive image."

When asked about France’s chances in the competition, the Secretary of State said that she was fairly confident. “The players will prove that they are up to the task of competing in this great tournament. The French public is quite demanding, which is completely natural. However, we have to get fully behind the team and leave Raymond Domenech alone to get on with the job."

Finally, to round off this first visit to Zurich, at the home of world football’s governing body, Rama Yade assured President Blatter of her support for the 6+5 rule. “I’m delighted that things are progressing well. The 6+5 rule is important because it will enable young people to identify with professional sport and to have the opportunity to shine at the top level in their own country. It’s a plan which is equally paramount for clubs' sense of identity."