(Xinhua) -- The Federation of
International Football Associations (FIFA) president Gianni
Infantino on Friday met Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and
pledged support towards development of football in the country.
Infantino was accompanied by his secretary general Fatma Samoura
and other top world and African football executives during the
closed door meeting with Mugabe at State House that lasted an
hour, state-run news agency New Ziana reported.
Infantino and his colleagues were in Zimbabwe for a joint
celebration of Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) president
Phillip Chiyangwa’s birthday as well as his elevation to head
the Council of Southern Africa Football Associations (COSAFA).
President Mugabe is a self-declared lover of football.
Infantino told journalists after the meeting that the
international governing body of soccer was working on a number
of projects to develop soccer in Zimbabwe.
"There are some concrete projects which have already started
which we are fully supporting and we would like to thank the
government for having embraced these projects such as the
project to create 8,000 football clubs around the whole country
to develop grassroots football in a structured way from the
grassroots up the pyramid to the elite football," he was quoted
Infantino said they also discussed the project of a national
football academy in Zimbabwe which they hop would revolutionize
football in the country.
Zimbabwe finished last with only one point in the group stage
of the recent 2017 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Gabon.