The final leg of the joint CAF and FIFA mission to West Africa featured a visit Sierra Leone, where meetings with the Head of State Brigadier General Dr Julius Maada Bio, Sierra Leone Football Association (SLFA) President Isha Johansen and national sports officials focused on the unifying power of football and its ability to bring people together despite their differences.
”Football is life for many people in Sierra Leone and of course in Africa as a whole,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “We at FIFA want to be part of the process of helping develop football in Sierra Leone and we want to make sure that this country shines with opportunities through the game because after all, football represents talent, life and joy, much of which we have already seen since arriving here.”
Following the meeting at State House, the FIFA President also expressed his appreciation to President Bio for his contribution to the development of football in Sierra Leone and the unique role that football plays in the social fabric of a country by uniting all people, while also stressing the urgency of organising the SLFA’s elective congress.
CAF President Patrice Motsepe echoed these messages and congratulated President Bio on his thought leadership and vision, before promising to support Sierra Leone in hosting the Africa Cup of Nations as soon as it could.
Before departing for Lungi airport, the joint CAF-FIFA delegation met briefly with football fans and local authorities, exchanging on the outcome of their meeting with President Bio.