Fatma Samoura, the FIFA Secretary General, visited Ethiopia with other FIFA officials. The two days meeting saw the presence of some high-level dignitaries from Ethiopia, including the President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia – Sahle Work Zewde.
Others who accompanied Sahle Work Zewde were Souleiman Waberi, the CAF Vice President; Esayas Jira, the Ethiopia Football Federation President; and Bahiru Tilahun Limenih, the Secretary-General. Topics discussed were the Football for School program and the importance of playing sports. The in-depth discussion covered life skills learned by playing sports, like communication, fair play, & teamwork.
Fatma Samoura took the opportunity to share her plans of traveling to Dire Dawa and donating football equipment like jerseys and shorts as per the latest sports news. However, Fifa for schools (F4S) was also discussed at this meeting, as this is one of the most helpful initiatives undertaken to uplift the youth of Ethiopia.
Following the conclusion of the successful meeting, the FIFA delegation made their way to the Dire Dawa, where a series of meetings with local sports representatives and the government was lined-up. A meeting with Harib Bouh Warsama, the Deputy Mayor, remained at the center due to the football investment-related discussions.
The deputy mayor planned to invest in a football turf pitch and academy. However, this is expected to help Ethiopian Premier League clubs.
During the visit, Fatma Samoura pledged her support to develop football in the region. Fatma was heard stating since the arrival; it has been learned that people in the country eat, sleep, and breathe football. Fatma added that FIFA would assist the development of youth football through the Football for Schools program while working to reinforce the football infrastructure of Dire Dawa.
A visit to Dire Dawa Youth & Sports Academy followed, which saw the FIFA Secretary General make a substantial donation of football equipment. The donation included jerseys and shorts.
Fatma addressed the academy, saying it was an honor to be surrounded by many passionate young footballers. Fatma talked about the donation by highlighting that the delegations were thrilled to provide equipment and now look forward to working closely with all the key stakeholders to develop the sport in the region further.
A visit to Dire Dawa International Stadium remained on the list. The venue is known to be of historic importance as it last hosted the 1976 CAF Africa Cup of Nations.
The visit to Ethiopia holds a lot of importance. Any assistance offered to a region can greatly impact the game’s overall look. The upcoming FIFA World Cup will see 32 teams competing for the final title. Its real beauty lies in knowing that not all nations are equally economically rich. It has always been the support that has done wonders for a nation in international tournaments.
With the FIFA World Cup only a few days away, odds for betting on FIFA have started showcasing which teams stand a higher chance of qualifying. Argentina holds emotional importance as Messi may no longer appear in future tournament editions.
Ethiopia will look up to all the teams playing in the World Cup to absorb whatever it can. The support pledged by Fatma Samoura could display results in the forthcoming years.