Ethiopia is looking forward to hosting the Fédération Internationale de Football Association’s (FIFA) executive football summit to be held early next year, a senior official said.
The capital, Addis Ababa, was chosen as the only African city and one of the six international venues to host two out of 11 of the summit sessions. Following the launch in Paris, two summits will take place in Singapore (6-8 December), two in Miami (17-18 January), two in Doha (14-16 February), and two in Addis Ababa (21-23 February).
As the seat of the African Union and the love its people have for football, it was a natural fit that Ethiopia should be selected to host the summit, said Wondemkun Alayu, public relations head of the Ethiopian Football Federation (EFF).
“Since the key findings of the discussions will then be fed back to the relevant decision-making bodies within FIFA, we are planning to put important topics, including how to develop Ethiopian football, on the discussion table,” he told the African News Agency (ANA).
“Our world continues to grow increasingly fluid and borderless, as global economies and technologies advances connect once-distant parts of the world and football, being the stage that brings all of us together, we will make sure many issues concerning Ethiopia’s football will be discussed.”
Ethiopia has been hailed for its football infrastructure development throughout the continent.
Ethiopia Football Federation president Junedin Basha earlier confirmed while speaking to SuperSport that “as a country and federation, we are indeed honoured to be the choice for the Fifa summit next year. That confirms the confidence the world governing body has shown to Ethiopia”.
One of the topics that will be discussed, according to him, were how to make African countries part of “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, which was announced last October.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino unveiled the vision, along with a roadmap it has published for how to most effectively grow the game, enhancing the football experience for fans and players, and building a stronger institution.
It also includes a four billion dollar investment over the next decade in football development through FIFA’s 211 member associations under the FIFA Forward Programme, and additional funding initiatives. It plans to increase total participation in football players, coaches, referees and fans, from 45 percent to 60 percent of the global population, according to FIFA 2.0 vision.
“FIFA 2.0 is set to double to 60 million, the number of female football players worldwide by 2026 through the development and execution of a strategy to bring women’s football to the mainstream,” said the document.
“Our society has always been part of football, whether historically or socially. More than a game, more than a sport, it is a fabric of our everyday life,” Wondemkun added.
“We hope from this summit FIFA will amplify its efforts to develop and promote Ethiopia’s football worldwide, at every level. We then will be able to produce international high quality competitions, host more friendly games reaching billions of fans, to making the game more accessible to talented girls and boys throughout the country.”