Kigali, Rwanda (African Boulevard News) – The 73rd FIFA Congress kicked off in the vibrant city of Kigali, Rwanda, on March 15 and 16, with the inauguration of the newly-built ‘Pele’ stadium, named after the late Brazilian football icon. The ceremony was attended by high-profile figures from the world of football, including FIFA President Gianni Infantino and CAF President Patrice Motsepe.
The inauguration of the Pele stadium marked a significant milestone for Rwanda, a country that is rapidly emerging as a major player in African football. The state-of-the-art stadium, which has a capacity of 60,000, is expected to host major international football events, including the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations.
In his opening address, His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda, expressed his delight at the country’s growing reputation as a destination for major sporting events. He noted that the inauguration of the Pele stadium was a symbol of Rwanda’s commitment to promoting football as a tool for social cohesion and national development.
President Kagame also stressed the importance of inclusivity in football, noting that the sport had the power to bring people from different backgrounds together. He commended FIFA for its efforts to promote diversity and gender equality in football, including the recent launch of the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the implementation of the FIFA Diversity Award.
The FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, praised Rwanda for its contribution to African football and for its commitment to hosting major international events. He noted that the inauguration of the Pele stadium was a testament to Rwanda’s determination to promote football as a catalyst for development and progress.
The FIFA Congress also discussed a range of issues related to the governance and development of football, including the expansion of the FIFA World Cup to 48 teams, the establishment of a global women’s league, and the promotion of grassroots football in developing countries.
In conclusion, the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali was a celebration of football and its ability to bring people together. Rwanda, a country with a proud footballing heritage, showed that it is ready to take its place on the international stage and to promote the sport as a means of social development and progress. As the world looks towards the future of football, Rwanda is poised to make a significant contribution to the beautiful game.