Burundi Becomes 100th Member of FIFA’s Football Schools Programme.


In a ceremony held in a celebratory atmosphere at the Urunani Stadium in Buganda, outside Bujumbura, Burundi has become the 100th country to implement FIFA’s Football for Schools programme. 


The ceremony took place in the presence of FIFA President Gianni Infantino, the Burundi Minister of East African Community Affairs, Youth, Sports and Culture, Gervais Abayeho, and the President of the Football Federation of Burundi, Alexandre Muyenge. 


FIFA President expressed his gratitude to the schools’ football project, FIFA, and Burundi for uniting the world. “We are uniting the world with a football project, with an education project, with a project that gives chance and opportunities to the youth, to the boys and girls of this wonderful country, Burundi”, he added.

The FIFA’s delegation consisted of FIFA Chief of Global Football Development, Arsene Wenger and Chairman of FIFA Referees Committee Pierluigi Collina, FIFA Director Member Associations Africa Gelson Fernandes, and FIFA Senior Football Advisor Youri Djorkaeff.


Football for Schools integrates football into the curriculum with the goal of increasing youth access to the game. Through the empowerment of children, the UNESCO-supported program advances the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN.


Since the Football for Schools app’s initial release in Puerto Rico in 2019, almost 1.5 million footballs have been provided, and the software has benefited over 23 million youngsters.


“Education is allowing young people to play football, and FIFA has made significant investments, particularly in Africa.” We have a lot of educational projects in Africa, so it’s a continent that means a lot to us,” Arsène Wenger stated. “Best of luck to every child. To give every young person the opportunity to play football is a massive undertaking. I hope that Burundi will soon host a large number of outstanding athletes.


In order to operationalize Football for Schools, 62 educators and master trainers from Bujumbura and the 18 regions of Burundi were taught by FIFA instructors Antonio Buenaño Sánchez and Melvin Mendy.


“This milestone of 100 FIFA Football For Schools member federations is an excellent opportunity to recognize the hard work, commitment, and selflessness of the entire FIFA team and particularly the Football For Schools team in serving member associations,” said Fatimata Sidibe, FIFA Director of Football for Schools.


“The 100 Burundian schoolchildren present at the celebration brought the stadium to its feet with their shouts of joy as they thanked the President of FIFA. The next step for Football For Schools will be to consolidate what has been achieved to ensure that member associations take ownership of Football For Schools and incorporate life skills into their curricula.” 


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