FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter is currently in North Africa on a three-day visit that began on Sunday 29 April. After an initial stop-off in Morocco, the FIFA delegation, which also includes FIFA vice-president and CAF President Issa Hayatou, arrived in Algeria to a warm welcome on Monday.

To mark his return to the country ten years after his last trip, President Blatter was awarded Algeria’s National Order of Merit during a special evening ceremony. The honour was bestowed upon him by Hechemi Djiar, the Algerian Minister of Youth and Sport, on behalf of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

“Speaking for myself, for FIFA and for the Executive Committee members present here today, namely Issa Hayatou, vice-president of FIFA, Hany Abo Rida and Mohamed Raouraoua, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to President Bouteflika,” said the FIFA President after receiving the accolade.

Blatter’s visit to Algeria, which is currently celebrating the 50th anniversary of its declaration of independence, will continue with further engagements on Tuesday.