FIFA engages legends on football matters

FIFA President Gianni Infantino addresses the FIFA Legends during a FIFA Legends Thinktank meeting at the Hyatt hotel on May 12, 2016 in Mexico City, .  (Photo by Mike Hewitt - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
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FIFA President Gianni Infantino, in his drive to enhance engagement with key stakeholders in the game, held a first informal “think tank” session on Thursday with the FIFA Legends team to hear their views on current football affairs. The FIFA Legends’ views will feed into ongoing consultation processes.

President Infantino opened the first think tank session and moderated a lively discussion between the former football greats. ”I would like to have your views on topics that are important for football. And who better than you, given that you have dedicated your lives to either playing or coaching,” said Infantino.

Coach Jose Mourinho welcomed the initiative. “This is the first time that FIFA has called on players, which is great and very much appreciated by us,” he said. “We can only understand the game better by listening to those who actually play the game - that’s the players.”

Mia Hamm, who won the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ in 1999, echoed Mourinho’s sentiments. “I believe it is important for all football players, male and female, to come together and share their ideas and visions for the beautiful game. Our love for the game comes from a shared passion that developed when we were kids and it doesn’t end when we stop kicking the ball.”

Infantino will present the detailed FIFA Legends’ programme on Friday at the FIFA Congress as part of his commitment to give a stronger voice to those directly involved in the game. “It’s the beginning of something, and I’m sure it will be something great,” summarised Infantino of the 90-minute-long exchange of views.

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