Fifa President Joseph Sepp Blatter has promised that the world’s football governing body will continue to support Rwanda’s football.
Blatter, who was last in Rwanda in 2005, made the remarks during a meeting with the newly elected president of the Rwanda Football Federation (Ferwafa), Vincent De Gaulle Nzamwita, at Fifa headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland on Sunday.
The two men discussed how Fifa and Ferwafa can best enhance their cooperation with view to taking the country’s football to the next level.
Later, Blatter tweeted: “Pleasure today to meet newly elected President of the Rwanda FA & discuss FIFA’s commitment to developing game there.”
The new local FA leadership team was elected in January.
The meeting was also attended by Fifa secretary general Jerome Valcke and Ferwafa vice president Vedaste Kayiranga.
The last time Blatter was in Rwanda he officially opened Ferwafa headquarters in Remera, Kigali, which were constructed with Fifa support.
The 77-year-old, who has been at the helm of world football for the last 16 years, is largely credited for helping develop football structures in Africa. In particular, Rwanda has benefited from four Fifa Goal projects.
In October 2001, Fifa approved the construction of Ferwafa head quarters and a technical centre with the appropriate facilities, which was financed by Goal and Fifa Financial Assistance Programme.
The second goal project helped in the construction of artificial turf at Ferwafa with the aim to improve the training of youth teams in 2007. Fifa injected in $400,000.
The world’s football governing body also funded the establishment of a football academy, at Ferwafa, in 2008. Fifa approved the disbursement of $400,000 with the aim of providing infrastructure for the training of talented youth players.
The funds helped develop the technical centre and propelled Rwanda U-17 team to finish runner-ups in the Africa U-17 Championships staged in Kigali, effectively handing the country a slot in the 2011 Mexico Fifa World Cup finals.
The fourth Fifa-backed project was approved in 2011 and included the installation of an artificial turf pitch at Muhanga stadium. Fifa contributed $500,000 while the remaining $400,000 was raised by the Government of Rwanda and other stakeholders.
This year, Fifa contributed another US$250,000 to go towards the development of women football [US$37,500], planning and administration [US$174,617], event management [US$30,000] and US$7883 to cater for other amenities.
From Zurich, the Rwandan football administrators were due to head to Germany for talks with the German Football Federation [DFB] to try and reinvigorate cooperation between the two sides.