• Monday, Nov 30, 2020
  • Last Update : 02:17 am

Fifa promises to become inclusive

  • Published at 01:25 am October 18th, 2019
Fifa president Gianni Infantino shares a light moment with some budding footballers in Dhaka last year Dhaka Tribune/Md Manik

The Swiss-Italian reflected on Fifa being “eurocentric” previously and promised to expand the global sport to regions that have been neglected in the past

Visiting Fifa president Gianni Infantino pledged his faith on the world football governing body’s attempt to expand the game and become more inclusive, and that, Bangladesh can only benefit from that. 

The Swiss-Italian reflected on Fifa being “eurocentric” previously and promised to expand the global sport to regions that have been neglected in the past.  

Talking about the importance of Bangladesh on the global scene, Infantino said, “My friend Kazi Salahuddin is the president of whole region and you have Mahfuza Akter Kiron, who is the only Asian Fifa council member. I think Bangladesh is already a very important country in football at the world stage. It’s true that we, the international body, have been neglecting some parts of the world. Fifa is much too eurocentric. There is no reason to do that. I have been traveling throughout the world, it is important we seriously develop football.”

Furthermore, the 49-year old proposed increasing the number of competitions and participants.

“We have to come up with new ideas and new competitions. We have decided to increase the participants of the World Cup for men from 32 to 48 teams. For women, we just decided to move from 24 to 32. I’m more (inclined) to propose to increase the participants for the youth tournament for the boys and girls because we need to have more incentives to invest more in football,” said Infantino.

He added, “What is the incentive for BFF to invest or Bangladesh government or business people to invest in football if you never have a chance to play in competitions. That is why people go to cricket not because cricket is more fun. Cricket is not more fun than football, it’s much boring. Of course, you don’t go, if you never have a chance. We have to increase the chances by creating competitions for the clubs.”   

The Fifa chief visited Bangladesh as a part of his Asia’s Goodwill Tour Thursday before leaving for Laos on the same day.

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