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Infantino: Bangladesh is living football

  • Published at 06:27 pm October 17th, 2019
Infantino
Fifa president Gianni Infantino reacts during his press meet in Dhaka Thursday Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The Fifa boss Gianni Infantino arrived in the capital early in the morning and had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for around an hour at the PM’s Office later before visiting the BFF House at noon to have a discussion with BFF president Kazi Salahuddin

World football governing body president Gianni Infantino has pledged that Fifa would be much more active in Bangladesh football and south Asia with competitions at youth, club and national level during his Asia’s Goodwill Tour in Bangladesh Thursday. 

“I thought I came to a country which knows something about football but not really into football because of the other sports that are part of the local culture. But what I find out is that, it’s actually a country that is not only playing football, are not only passionate about football but it is actually living football. Living football is the new slogan of Fifa,” said Infantino during a press-conference at a city hotel in Dhaka in the afternoon.

The Fifa boss arrived in the capital early in the morning and had a meeting with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for around an hour at the PM’s Office later before visiting the BFF House at noon to have a discussion with BFF president Kazi Salahuddin.

“We discussed about the future development of football in this country and in this region. With the passion that I can see here, I think the future is bright. We will, as Fifa, be much more actively involved in activities in Bangladesh and south Asia. We will come up with ideas, competitions for youths, for boys and girls, for men’s and women’s, for clubs and the national team,” promised Infantino.

“We will bring Fifa much closer with football in this part of the world because Bangladesh has 170m people living in this country and I don’t know how many millions abroad. You should be rightly proud for your country which has great culture, history and foods,” added the 49-year old Fifa boss.

Swiss-Italian Infantino added, “I’m hopeful and confident of what we can do. What we can do is mainly bring football to the children, bring it to the schools, clubs, bring it to the boys, girls and look at the smiles when they touch the ball when they play. Hope and smile - that’s what we can do and what we are working on.”

Infantino was accompanied by Fifa deputy secretary general Matthias Grafstrom, chief of communications Onofre Costa, director of members associations of Asia and Oceania Sanjeevan Balasingam and the Fifa supremo’s office manager Federico Ravinglione.

Infantino is scheduled to leave for Laos after the press conference Thursday afternoon. 

It was the fourth occasion of a Fifa boss visiting Bangladesh after Joao Havelange (1980-81) and Sepp Blatter (2006 and 2012).