The CAF and FIFA Presidents led a CAF/FIFA delegation in Lesotho’s capital city, Maseru today.
The second stop on an African tour that will see the delegation visiting seven countries in East and Southern Africa, the group were greeted upon arrival in Maseru by Lesotho Football Association (LFA) President Salemale Phafane, LEFA General secretary Mokhosi Mohapi as well as members of LEFA Executive Committee.
In addition to the CAF and FIFA Presidents, the group was comprised of FIFA Secretary-General and General Delegate for Africa Fatma Samoura, African football legend and Special Advisor to CAF President Samuel Eto’o, FIFA Deputy Secretary General Mattias Grafström, Chief Member Associations Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba and former French international and FIFA Foundation CEO Youri Djorkaeff.
The delegation immediately headed to the palace of His Royal Highness King Letsie III for a courtesy call. Meeting FIFA delegation King Lestie III said: "I’m honoured to be welcoming the FIFA delegation to Lesotho. Presidents your presence in Lesotho means a lot to my country. Your presence is not just a visit but an expression of friendship and solidarity to the people of Lesotho and for that, I’m very grateful to you.”
Addressing King Letsie III the FIFA President expressed his appreciation for the warm welcome he and the group received since their arrival in the Mountain Kingdom.
Discussions focused on the strong social power of football and all the human values that come along with it. “Football can help children become better citizens and has the unique power to unite people. FIFA is taking its responsibilities very seriously by bringing through our FIFA Foundation a special Football for Schools initiative.“ said Infantino.
Before visiting the Sesotho Stadium the delegation met with the Honorable Thomas Motsoahae Thabane, Prime Minister, who declared: “football is more than a game it’s a way of life and your visit Presidents Infantino and Ahmad is just not a presence but a testimony that Lesotho is part of the wider international community as there is no bigger global community than the football.”
Speaking after the meeting the CAF President said: “I was very touched by the genuine passion Prime Minister Thabane showed for football and I was moved by his commitment to use football as a tool to raise the profile of his country on the global stage.”
The stadium visit was followed by a meeting with the LFA Executive Committee members at the FA Headquarters followed by a wider meeting with Lesotho football stakeholders and the media.
In his concluding remarks, Infantino said: “This visit is a moment of great emotion for our delegation and we want to see a Lesotho that shines through football. FIFA and Lesotho are part of one team.”
Though brief, the visit was an opportunity for the FIFA and CAF Presidents to meet with the first-ever FIFA Employee Volunteer Program from the FIFA Foundation which is supporting the NGO Kick4Life project.