Unity of Caribbean purpose lauded by FIFA President in Miami speech

9 Jul 2021
  • FIFA President addressed the Caribbean Football Union’s XLIII Ordinary Congress

  • Mr. Infantino promoted football as a driver of social change in the region

  • FIFA and CARICOM signed a Memorandum of Understanding earlier in 2021

FIFA President Gianni Infantino promoted football’s power to advance societal change during his address to the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) Congress in Miami. 

Significant steps have been taken in recent months to strengthen the basis for the growth of the game, with the CFU launching a new Strategic Framework built on pillars of football development, capacity building and good governance, whilst its member associations supported FIFA’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with CARICOM, which will promote the game as well as sporting integrity and social responsibility.

“I am proud that we are together in unity as we look to boost development together and work towards the aim of making football truly global,” said Mr Infantino. “We are a family that shares the same passion – the passion for football; the passion for the heart that is beating in the right place; the passion for our children, the boys and girls. Each member can win its own World Cup, because every smile on every child means you are winning.”

“Tournaments act as big drivers for development because we get better with exposure to, and preparation for playing the very best. Now that tournaments are returning after a difficult period, we can enjoy the benefits that they bring whilst remembering that the foundations for football must be strong in order that those rewards can be maximised.”

The FIFA President congratulated the member associations about to embark on the group stage of the Concacaf Gold Cup, starting this weekend, as well as representatives in the forthcoming FIFA Futsal World Cup and FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup. He noted the opportunity enjoyed by Bahamas to stage the latter event in 2017 and shared his vision that more member associations should have the opportunity to host tournaments and events in the future.

“Football is truly democratic, and it is right that we share experiences and opportunities around the 211 member associations,” continued President Infantino. “FIFA will facilitate the debate on the international match calendar and the future of youth tournaments, welcoming your different opinions as they will enrich our sport.

“I would like to thank [CFU] President Randolph Harris for his commitment to that and the work of all of you for the sustainable development of football in this region. I would also like to thank Deputy Chair of FIFA’s Member Associations Committee, Sonia Fulford, for her work in ensuring optimum cooperation between FIFA and its members. FIFA is here for football and for every one of its members and Sonia, your work greatly helps that collaboration for the benefit of all in our sport.”

During the Congress, Randolph Harris was re-elected as CFU President by acclamation.