Mr Motsepe emerged unopposed as the eighth CAF president on Friday in Morocco and Infantino who is believed to have worked for his emergence praised the 56-member organisation for the team spirit displayed in Mr Motsepe’s emergence.
In his address to the 43rd CAF Ordinary and Elective General Assembly, Mr Infantino said, “We know the values of football, but the most important value is team spirit. This is the team spirit that we have witnessed these days in Africa.”
Mr Infantino alluded to a change in thought concerning the growth of African football: “I have already said it, and I say it again. We must stop saying that it is necessary to develop African football. It is about projecting it to the summit of world football.
“The time for talking has stopped. We must move on, and we must move on as a team: as a CAF team and a FIFA team that also includes all the confederations and associations from all over the world. You are CAF. You are FIFA.”
Mr Infantino then addressed the new CAF president: “I want to wish all the very best for the next four years, to the new leading team of CAF, of African football, and to Patrice Motsepe, to all those who have been involved, to Augustin, Ahmed, Jacques, and everyone. I want to assure you that FIFA is not at your side. FIFA is together with you.”
He revealed the extent of FIFA’s collaboration with CAF. “As far as FIFA is concerned, we have been doing quite a lot together in recent years. We have multiplied by five the investments in solidarity.
“You are no longer receiving USD 300,000 per year, you are receiving USD1.5 million per year to invest in football projects. In the last five years, over 300 projects have been developed here in Africa. More than 100 of these on infrastructure. This is what will make the difference tomorrow.
“We have increased the number of teams for the 2026 FIFA World Cup which is in only five years’ time. You will no longer have five teams, or six teams, or seven teams playing at the World Cup. You will have nine or ten national teams, playing at the World Cup. We have doubled the number of African teams playing at the World Cup because the World Cup is a celebration of global football, and Africa needs to be present,” Mr Infantino added.
Read the whole text of his address here.
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