During a ceremony organized at the Palais des Nations in Kinshasa, this memorandum of understanding was signed by Constant Omari, President of FECOFA, Fatma Samoura, FIFA Secretary General, and Marcel Amos Mbayo Kitenge, Minister of Sports and Leisure from DR Congo. It describes the outline of a school competition and how it can, through the power of football, help improve lives and instill positive values in young people.
This ceremony, attended by Patrice Motsepe, president of the African Football Confederation (CAF), and Véron Mosengo-Omba, its general secretary, crowns various meetings held since the beginning of the year between Gianni Infantino, President of FIFA. , and Félix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo and of the African Union. In collaboration with FECOFA, FIFA and the Congolese government intend to organize football tournaments in schools in this country of 90 million inhabitants. The concept will then be extended to other African countries with the help of CAF.
The initiative will enable FECOFA, FIFA and the Congolese government to promote health and support social cohesion by integrating the practice of football into the school curriculum. The goal: to instill in children the importance of teamwork, self-confidence, strategy and respect for the rules, and to teach them to show respect and dignity in victory as in defeat.
This initiative, in addition to providing schools with football facilities, provides for the establishment of a referee recruitment and training program for young people. It will also enable a great number of boys and girls to exercise and forge links on a continental scale.
Patrice Motsepe, president of CAF, congratulated the leaders of FIFA and DR Congo for this initiative, which focuses on African youth through the values of football and which offers the possibility to millions of girls and boys to become better citizens.
Following the signing of the memorandum of understanding, Marcel Amos Mbayo Kitenge, Minister of Sports and Recreation of the DR Congo, reiterated the support of the Congolese government and outlined some of the measures put in place to contribute to its success:
- allocation of a fixed number of hours for playing football in schools
- provision of financial, structural and operational resources for the organization of competitions and the training of educators
- creation of a specific local organizing committee for the final phase of the competition
- guarantee that two women’s and men’s teams will qualify for future youth competitions at continental level.
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