FIFA President holds several meetings at FIFA office in Paris

  • The FIFA President held various meetings and discussions in Paris on Friday

  • Gianni Infantino welcomed no fewer than eight member association presidents

  • Further meetings are scheduled over the weekend

"Our aim of making football truly global means that we need to have a more balanced and worldwide organisational set-up," the FIFA President explained last year. "Paris was a natural choice. As well as being one of the world's most cosmopolitan cities, it is well connected and easily accessible." After having met with the President of the Ivorian Football Federation, Yacine Idriss Diallo, the previous day, Gianni Infantino welcomed delegations from eight member associations hailing from all four corners of the globe in the French capital.

One by one throughout the day, the FIFA President met with the presidents of the football associations of New Caledonia, Latvia, Ecuador, Saudi Arabia, Moldova, Mali, Seychelles and Panama at the Hôtel de la Marine. Their discussions focused on a number of key topics: FIFA's support via its Forward Programme; steps taken since the launch of FIFA's Climate Strategy; the roll-out of the Football for Schools Programme; the development of women's football; FIFA's Compliance Programme; and plenty more besides. Gilles Tavergeux, President of the New Caledonian Football Federation 🇳🇨 "This Paris office fits with the FIFA President's vision of making football truly global. It simplifies things for all the member associations. France is a genuine hub, and it's easier to travel here. The desire to spread football beyond borders is a vision we share in Oceania. If we can add our little contribution to football's standing around the world, all the better!" Vadims Lasenko, President of the Latvian Football Federation 🇱🇻 "It's a privilege to be here in Paris. It's given us the chance to meet friends whom we speak with every day to help develop the biggest sport on the planet. Gianni Infantino came to visit us in Riga. Together, we held a meeting with our prime minister regarding the launch of a big project we have in Latvia: the construction of our stadium. We discussed that again today. We also touched on an issue that is very important for us, namely the Football for Schools Programme, which we are starting to develop with our minister, and which will begin in September."

Francisco Egas, President of the Ecuadorian Football Federation 🇪🇨 "The Ecuadorian Federation strives to collaborate with FIFA in every area. We are active participants in all the development programmes launched by FIFA and in everything linked to development, especially women's and youth football. FIFA and its programmes are very important for us and for the development of football in our country." Yasser Al Misehal, president of the national association of Saudi Arabia 🇸🇦 "Well done to the FIFA President for opening this new office in Paris, which represents a great step forward! We have a very strong relationship and ties with FIFA. As national associations, we are all witnesses to everything that FIFA is implementing in terms of programmes and projects to develop football throughout the world. In Saudi Arabia, we have so many projects and a real ambition to promote our sport and develop football from the ground up, and women’s football in particular. We had an excellent discussion with President Gianni Infantino, and I hope that things progress in a positive way for our two institutions."

Leonid Oleinicenco, president of the national association of Moldova 🇲🇩 "We are grateful to FIFA for their considerable support, most notably in terms of infrastructure. We have been able to build a number of pitches and stadiums thanks to their help. It’s been a great benefit to our country. We use them not only for football but for various types of sport, and throughout the whole year – not just in summer or winter. We also use FIFA’s certified development programmes for our technical department, and we are going to make use of some IT tools." Mamoutou Toure, president of the national association of Mali 🇲🇱 "It’s a real pleasure to be in the FIFA offices – we’re delighted to be here! To have the chance to meet the FIFA President and to talk football and about our projects was a real source of motivation. Together with President Infantino, we discussed our competitions and also the various projects that FIFA is supporting us with, in particular the Forward Programme. It’s wonderful for us to know that the President is by our side." Elvis Chetty, president of the national association of Seychelles 🇸🇨 "FIFA is the cornerstone of the development of the Seychelles Football Association. We are a small organisation from a small country, but we are an incredibly proud nation, and we love our football. We are relying on the support of the FIFA Forward Programme, which is essential for our development, especially of our youth players and women’s football." Manuel Arias, president of the national association of Panama 🇵🇦 "We are endeavouring to follow the programmes that FIFA has implemented, including Forward 1.0 and Forward 2.0. We are also working on the FIFA Compliance Programme. We ensure that the money is properly invested in football and that it all works correctly both on an administrational and a sporting level. What we are doing is developing our institution together with FIFA." Gianni Infantino will have a busy day on Saturday 28 May, filled with meetings, discussions and other work. Delegations from around the world are scheduled to meet with the FIFA President in his Paris office.