Tag Archives: Gianni Infantino

Qatar on track to welcome the world with just 1,000 days to go until the FIFA World Cup 2022™

* Two out of eight stadiums have been delivered; three more scheduled to open this year
* Infrastructure being developed also includes roads, new metro lines and airport expansion
* FIFA Club World Cup 2019 and 2020 as key operational tests

In exactly 1,000 days, the world will gather again for the biggest football show on Earth – in the most unique setting yet. The compact nature of the first FIFA World Cup™ in the Middle East and Arab world will ensure that fans of all 32 teams are always within reach of the eight stunning stadiums, the FIFA Fan Fest™, some world-class museums, Qatar’s desert dunes and, most importantly, each other.

While the eagerly awaited tournament might still feel a long way off for fans, 136 out of 900 qualifying matches have already been played, and the tournament infrastructure can be seen rapidly evolving in and around Doha. Two stadiums are fully operational: Khalifa International and Al Janoub. Three more venues – Education City, Al Rayyan and Al Bayt – will be inaugurated this year, with the remaining three set to be launched well in advance of the tournament.

Brand-new metro lines have also been delivered and successfully transported over 50,000 fans across three games during the FIFA Club World Cup™. New roads and training sites are being completed, the airport expanded and permanent and temporary accommodation will be delivered with the aim of coping with demand while also considering post-event use.

“With 1,000 days to go, Qatar stands where no other host did before. Qatar wants to amaze the world and is on track to achieve it,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino. “The FIFA World Cup 2022 will be a breakthrough from a social and cultural perspective. It will open the doors of this football-mad region, offering a new perspective to locals and foreigners, bringing people together and serving as a tool for common understanding.”

H.E. Hassan Al Thawadi, Secretary General of Qatar’s Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy (SC), added: “Ten years of our lives, day in, day out, have been dedicated to this tournament. Personally, I can only look forward with excitement, as well as some nerves, but more importantly, conviction that this will be – without a doubt – the best tournament. We are determined to ensure that the first World Cup in the Middle East and Arab world will set a benchmark in the history of hosting major sporting events.”

When it comes to tournament preparations, Qatar and FIFA have been scrutinising the lessons learned from the FIFA Club World Cup, held in December last year, and which will return to the country later in 2020. According to the local authorities, the tournament brought over 50,000 international fans into the country. The event’s official fan zone welcomed 43,000 visitors over the course of the tournament.

Gianni Infantino, The FIFA World Cup 2022, FIFA Club World 2020, Qatar 2020,

“Test events give us a great opportunity to assess new stadiums, work with authorities, integrate and train the teams. That all provides us with an important insight into planning for the World Cup. And as we move closer, planning becomes more operational. The joint venture team we have in Qatar is increasing in size, several teams have already visited Qatar to inspect training facilities, and we are bringing stakeholders closer – our Commercial Affiliates were in Doha last year, and the main broadcasters earlier this year,” said FIFA’s Chief Tournaments & Events Officer and FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 LLC (Q22) Managing Director, Colin Smith.

“With all our infrastructure projects on track, one of our key priorities now is to shape the fan experience in 2022. We are determined to host a tournament which is welcoming to all and family-friendly, and one that shows our country and region in the most positive light. We learned a lot from the Club World Cup across every functional area and will apply the lessons learned in the 2020 edition and in our 2022 planning,” assured the Chief Executive Officer of the Q22, Nasser Al Khater.

For more information on the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, visit FIFA.com/WorldCup . The recently launched event’s Sustainability Strategy is also available here .

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ Watched By More Than 1 Billion

• 1.12 billion viewers watched coverage of France 2019 on TV at home, on digital platforms or out-of-home
• 993.5 million watched on TV alone
• 481.5 million accessed coverage on digital platforms
• Final seen live by over 260 million viewers
• Average live match audience more than doubled from the 2015 edition

FIFA has published the key findings of a comprehensive audit of the final audience data for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™.

A combined 1.12 billion viewers tuned into official broadcast coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 across all platforms – a record audience for the competition. Linear TV accounted for the majority of the global audience, with 993.5 million viewers watching at least one minute of coverage on a TV set at home, an increase of 30% on the audience for the 2015 edition held in Canada, which reached 764.0 million.

An estimated 481.5 million people accessed coverage of France 2019 on digital platforms, equivalent to 43% of the total audience reach. The digital audience, which overlaps with the linear TV audience, was up considerably on the estimated 86.0 million in 2015.

The final between USA and the Netherlands was the most watched FIFA Women’s World Cup match ever, with an average live audience of 82.18 million (up by 56% on the 2015 final audience: 52.56 million) and reaching a total of 263.62 million unique viewers (one-minute reach), which accounted for 22.9% of the overall tournament reach.

Over the 52 matches played in nine host cities across France and broadcast in 205 territories around the world, the average live match audience was 17.27 million viewers – more than double the 8.39 million average of Canada 2015. This can be attributed to the greater distribution of matches on higher profile broadcasters in many countries, where many participating teams’ matches drew record audiences in their home territories, such as Brazil, France, Italy and the UK.

FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019,
photo credit: FIFA

“More than a sporting event, the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 was a cultural phenomenon attracting more media attention than ever before and providing a platform for women’s football to flourish in the spotlight. The fact that we broke the 1 billion target just shows the pulling power of the women’s game and the fact that, if we promote and broadcast world-class football widely, whether it’s played by men or women, the fans will always want to watch,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

Publicis Sport & Entertainment (PSE) compiled the consolidated audience figures for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 based on audience data and scheduling gathered from official television auditing agencies in markets around the world, from FIFA’s Media Rights Licensees (MRLs), and from non-captured (out-of-home and digital) audience data provided by Nielsen.

FIFA and UN Women Sign First-Ever Memorandum Of Understanding

FIFA, United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women, Gianni Infantino, Phumzile Mlambo‑Ngcuka, FIFA Women’s Football Convention,

The first-ever memorandum of understanding (MoU) between FIFA and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) was signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo‑Ngcuka at the FIFA Women’s Football Convention, a few hours before the opening match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™.

“This is a significant moment for FIFA as we combine forces with UN Women to realise gender equality for women both on and off the pitch.” said Infantino. “Together, we will raise awareness about women’s football and its impact in terms of health, empowerment and positive role models for women and girls around the world.”

The MoU will provide a strong framework for strengthening and further developing synergies between FIFA and UN Women. Both organisations will work closely with public authorities, international organisations, the private sector, and media and sports organisations to make football more accessible to women and girls and to disseminate diverse sports content to promote gender equality.

FIFA and UN Women Sign First-Ever Memorandum Of Understanding
Photo credit: FIFA

Major sporting events will also be leveraged to deliver a legacy of positive change at social, political and economic levels to challenge persistent forms of discrimination and stereotypes that hold back progress for all.

“UN Women and FIFA are committed to levelling the playing field for women and girls, leveraging football’s mass appeal to bring positive change around the world. We are confident that this partnership will make a real difference to the gender inequality that we currently see in all sports, and that we are working to end throughout society, knowing that the benefits are for everyone,”said UN Women Executive DirectorPhumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

The three key joint areas of work in the MoU are sports policy development, the promotion and support of sustainable projects that will help create a lasting legacy, cultural change and empowerment of women and girls around the world, and communications to raise awareness around gender equality through sport, for example through the support of the FIFA Legends and UN Women Goodwill Ambassadors, as well as major tournaments.

The FIFA Women’s Football Convention, where the MoU signing took place, saw leaders from the world of sport and politics assemble to discuss key issues related to the development of women’s football and the societal benefits of football on women and girls around the world.

FIFA President, Infantino, Gives Kudos To Eagles, Nigerian Fans

President of world football–ruling body, FIFA, on Thursday hailed Nigeria’s Super Eagles, Coach Gernot Rohr, the backroom staff, officials and Nigerian ball fans for their efforts at the 2018 FIFA World Cup finals in Russia.

Super Eagles during the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup match between Croatia v Nigeria on the 16th June 2018 at Kaliningrad Stadium,Russia

In a letter addressed to NFF President Amaju Pinnick and dated 30th August 2018, Infantino wrote, inter alia: “I would like to express our most sincere appreciation to your National Team for participating in this 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup. The 2018 FIFA World Cup was an unforgettable celebration of football and a major factor in this was the participation of the Super Eagles, their sixth FIFA World Cup appearance.

Gianni Infantino – FIFA President
photo credit navkolo.me

“I personally was very happy and proud to be able to attend in your presence two of your National Team matches, against Croatia and Iceland. Please pass on my compliments to all those who have contributed to this campaign, the players, the head coach Gernot Rohr but also the technical and medical team and, of course, the fans.

“Such achievement is no doubt based on hard work, professionalism and attention to detail, as well as passion and love of the game. All this augurs well for a very promising future and will undoubtedly pave the way for future success.”

Nigeria’s Shehu Dikko Inducted Into FIFA Committee

NFF 2nd Vice President/LMC Chairman Shehu Dikko has been inducted into the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee, after attending his first meeting of the panel at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland on Wednesday, 28 February.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino performed the induction alongside the Chairman of the committee, Victor Montagliani, who is also President of CONCACAF and also a FIFA Vice President.

L-R Gianni Infantino, Shehu Dikko and Victor Montagliani during Dikko’s induction into the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee

Infantino presented Dikko, also the Chairman of Marketing, Sponsorship and TV Rights Committee and Strategic Studies Committee of the NFF, with the special FIFA pin before the 3rd meeting of the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee.

Dikko was named into the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee in November 2017. He is also a Member of the CAF Committee for Club Competitions and Club Licensing System.

Infantino In Rabat As CAF Mulls 24 – Team AFCON

FIFA President Gianni Infantino is at the head of a pool of global football administrators and stakeholders who are in Rabat, Morocco for a two–day African Football Symposium starting on Tuesday.

The FIFA supremo was received at the Mohamed V International Airport, Casablanca on Monday afternoon by CAF President Ahmad and his two deputies, Kwesi Nyantakyi and Omari Constant Selemani.

CAF insiders hinted thenff.com on Monday that the symposium, which will be followed by a CAF Extra-Ordinary General Assembly on Friday, has been put together to ferment robust new ideas and ideals for the transformation of the African game, and serve as a sort of game –changer that will drive the vision of the new CAF leadership that swept into office four months ago.

CAF President Ahmad and the President of the Federation Royale Marocaine de Football, Fouzi Lekjaa are chief hosts of the symposium taking place at the International Conference Centre, Mohammed VI, Skhirat.

NFF President Amaju Pinnick (like Lekjaa a Member of the CAF Executive Committee), Vice Presidents Seyi Akinwunmi and Shehu Dikko, General Secretary Mohammed Sanusi, former NFF General Secretary Musa Amadu and Director of Communications Ademola Olajire are in the Nigeria delegation in Morocco.

Gianni Infantino – FIFA President
photo credit navkolo.me

Thenff.com also learnt that a proposal to increase the number of teams at the Africa Cup of Nations finals from 16 to 24 teams, and switch the finals from January to the summer, is one of the key points to be discussed at the symposium and the extra-ordinary general assembly.

Proponents are hinging their position on a number of positives, including the fact that a 24 –team AFCON finals will mean more money for CAF, more money for the African FAs, involvement of more nations and therefore more fans in the Cup finals, involvement of more stakeholders of the African game and its capacity to propel the development of infrastructure around the African continent as co-hosting of the finals will ultimately be encouraged.


It is no longer news that Gianni Infantino, the President of Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) and the federation secretary Fatma Sanoura, were in Nigeria this week on a two-day working visit at the invitation of the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) led by Amaju Pinnick, but what are the gains of his visit? Will it benefit Nigerian football in anyway? Or was it another jamboree?

It is the purview of the football federation to invite anybody or organisations to its functions or otherwise more or less the world football governing body, but the timing must be right and proper with no doubt of the motive from any quarter.

Infantino said in his address, “I am happy to be in Nigeria the giant of football” and everybody at the gala clapped but I asked, who is deceiving who? Is he talking of my dear country who cannot boast of a functional and well equipped federation office? A country whose football is going doing the drain? A country where the welfare of coaches and footballers is not a priority? A country where hiring of a national team coach is harder than its presidential election? It’s a shame that we all know this and some people were deceived by Infantino statement.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino Speaking during the Cocktail At Abuja, Flanked by Barrister Solomon Dalung, MS Samoura and Shehu Dikko
FIFA President Gianni Infantino Speaking during the Cocktail At Abuja, Flanked by Barrister Solomon Dalung, MS Samoura and Shehu Dikko

It is a shame that we failed to qualify for the African U20 nations cup in Zambia next year after beating the Sudanese in there backyard primarily because the players were not motivated, they even went on strike days before the match, Samson Siasia cried out this week that the federation is owing him five months salary while the Olympic football team lacks good welfare and preparation towards the games, the senior national team is now ranked 70 in FIFA/Coca Cola rankings with no substantive coach, the last head coach of the Super Eagles, Sunday Oliseh is still neck deep in dispute with the federation over unpaid salaries and all they could think of is hosting the FIFA president with over 17 other football association presidents mainly from Anglophone African countries, who picked the bill for this so called “hosting”?

Is it the NFF that cannot pay coaches salaries or see to the welfare of the players? This lack of direction and focus can only happen in our dear directionless NFF.

One of the so called analyst on a popular one hour daily sport show on radio said one of the gains of the visit is that Infantino announced that Africa will be granted additional slots when the world cup is increased to 40 teams and I smiled at how shallow that statement was, what manner of gain is that? There is no way the number of participating teams in the world cup will be increased and Africa and Asia will not get increased slots, no possible way, please say something else, he needs not come here before that is a certainty.

Its was also mentioned in some quarters that the FIFA president visit with the 17 Anglophone FA presidents is to put Pinnick in good position for African football politics, again I laughed out loud (LOL), are we talking about same Confederation of African Football that Issa Hayatou is heading? Please dear sir/madam come with a different line because the absennce of Issa Hayatou on the FIFA president’s entourage is already a defeat for Pinnick, we all know that the Francophone countries control the beautiful game in Africa and anything you want to do you must put them in the picture, else its dead on arrival.

President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki with FIFA President Gianni Infantino
President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki with FIFA President Gianni Infantino

The only gain I can see in this ill advised visit is that it exposes the fact that the federation is not cash strapped, so it must as a matter of urgency clear all back log of salaries owed various coaches and allowances of all teams so that they can be motivated and ready to play for the nation with all there heart.

In all fairness there is no gain of any colouration in the visit, it is more of a jamboree and a waste of public funds which should have been channeled to a good course especially players and coaches welfare, the NFF should start getting its priority right now and make our football great again.

“A man whose roof is on fire doesn’t run to extinguish another man’s burning house”

Tinuola Akinola
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