FIFA President Sepp Blatter has given a frank, personal reaction to his induction as Member of the CAF Hall of Fame. In a statement released, Blatter expressed his delight and honour at being made a member of the Hall at the Launch, alongside CAF President Issa Hayatou.
According to him, he takes it as “an acknowledgement of my personal commitment, and that of FIFA too, towards the development of football in Africa”.
Blatter noted that his first foray into Africa in 1976, where he launched FIFA’s very first development programmes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, opened his eyes to the “extraordinary social dimension of football”.
Going further, the FIFA President said that this strengthened his resolve to advocate openly and actively that FIFA’s flagship competition – the FIFA World Cup – be hosted in Africa; and it was a dream that came true in 2010 in South Africa.
Rounding up, Blatter said it was always his belief that for a continent that has produced so much talent in football, he was unshaken in belief that it was time for that continent to put on the biggest show on earth.
Below is a full text of the FIFA President’s statement:
It is a great honour for me to have been inducted, together with FIFA Vice-President and CAF President Issa Hayatou, into the CAF Hall of Fame, on the very same day of its launch. I take it as an acknowledgement of my personal commitment and that of FIFA too, towards the development of football in Africa. It was on African soil that I launched FIFA’s very first football development programmes, in Addis Ababa in 1976. It was then that I came to realise the extraordinary social dimension of football. Later, I became a strong advocate of Africa hosting FIFA’s flagship competition. That dream came true when South Africa hosted the 2010 FIFA World CupTM. After providing so much of the talent in football, it was duly time for Africa to put on the biggest show on Earth.
For the Game. For the World. For Africa.
Joseph S. Blatter