‘Forward Project to change football landscape’- FIFA President
By Treiston Joseph
FIFA’s President Gianni Infantino made a historic visit to Guyana for the turning of the sod for Guyana’s first FIFA Forward/Goal Project at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
After touching down in the ‘Land of Many Waters’ at approximately 08:30h on Tuesday for a few site visits that included the turning of the sod, Infantino noted that he was ecstatic to be in Guyana. President of the Guyana Football Federation (GFF), Wayne Forde, in very brief comments, called the occasion momentous.
Infantino noted that the event will change the landscape of football in Guyana. “Let me just say at the outset here that I’m extremely happy to be here in Guyana today with you for this important ceremony, which will actually, I’m convinced will change the landscape of football in this country but not only football, it will contribute a great lot to the whole society because we know about the values of football, what football can move,” Infantino stated.
Infantino also highlighted that he has been impressed by the Forde-led administration and their execution of plans for the game of football.
“Wayne is a great president who is doing a great job together with his team…they are thinking big, they are dreaming big, but what is most important is they are putting it into practice, they are acting they are not just talking and that’s important and for this reason FIFA is proud to be here,” Infantino noted.
Minister with Responsibility for Sport, Dr. Nicolette Henry, who was present at the event, simply noted that such a project will benefit sport in general.
“We are certainly grateful for this initiative because it will go a long way in terms of development of sport not only in terms of football, so on behalf of the Government and the people I will certainly like to say thank you for making this happen,” Henry mentioned.
This is the second time a FIFA president has visited Guyana, with the first being in 2001 when former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter visited for a similar occasion that was eventually cancelled because of Blatter’s declaration that governments are responsible for the building of Stadia.
Meanwhile, Infantino during the day paid a courtesy call on Guyana’s President, David Granger. He also met with CARICOM Secretary General, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque, and visited the GFF’s Grassroot Programme in Georgetown before departing Guyana at around 13:00h.