Jordaan holds fruitful meeting with Fifa president Infantino

SA Football Association (Safa) president Danny Jordaan had a fruitful meeting with Fifa counterpart and president Gianni Infantino on the sidelines of the Best Fifa Football Awards in the French capital Paris on Monday night.

The two discussed various football matters which impact the global game, as well as matters regarding South African football.

Among the issues on the table was a discussion around the recently concluded Fifa World Cup in Qatar, as well as reflecting on the 2010 Fifa World Cup, the only World Cup to be held on the African continent.

They also discussed the upcoming first 48-nations Fifa World Cup to be hosted jointly by the US, Mexico and Canada in 2026.

Jordaan told the Fifa president that in accordance with Safa’s Vision 2030, the national association aims to have a million women footballers by that time, a massive milestone in the growth of women football globally.

Former Arsenal coach, Arsene Wenger, will be visiting the country at the invitation of Safa to advise on how to expedite football development, especially at grassroots level.

Wenger is a Fifa development manager, and Jordaan believes it will be prudent for Safa to tap into his vast knowledge.

Infantino said: “It is always a pleasure to spend time with president Jordaan and to be able to discuss something that Fifa is deeply passionate about; increasing global competitiveness across all our competitions.

“Later this year, we will see 32 teams compete for the first time at the Fifa Women’s World Cup, and in 2026 we will have 48 teams including the possibility of 10 from Africa.

“This presents an enormous opportunity for African football, and it was great to be able to discuss this today.”

It is, however, an extraordinary challenge, he said.

“But I think it’s a platform to raise the level of competition, the profile of global football, and also from a revenue generation [point of view], I think it’s a huge opportunity.”

Jordaan praised Fifa for the successful delivery of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.

“Because South Africa hosted the first African World Cup, I was keen to listen to him [talk] about the Middle East’s first World Cup,” said Jordaan.

“These things are important because it demonstrates the growth and development of football all over the world.

“As Fifa says, [they aim] to make the game truly global, and to make the game truly global, we must not only play the game, we must also host nations in our continents and in our countries.” –

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