Burundi became the latest country to implement FIFA’s Football for Schools programme in a ceremony held at the Urunani Stadium in Buganda, outside Bujumbura, on Saturday.
"You are the 100th country in which we set up this wonderful Football for Schools project,” said FIFA president Gianni Infantino at the inauguration event.
The project aims to make the game more accessible to young people by incorporating football activities into the education system.
Supported by UNESCO, it contributes to the education, development, and empowerment of around 700 million children worldwide.
Saturday’s ceremony took place in the presence of 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.
“Thanks to this wonderful Football for Schools project, FIFA and Burundi are uniting the world with a football project, with an education project, a project that gives chances and opportunities to the boys and girls of this wonderful country,” said Infantino.
“Education means giving the youth a chance to play football, and FIFA has invested a lot, especially in Africa. It’s a continent that means a lot to us, we have many educational projects in Africa,” said FIFA’s Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger.
“Good luck to all the kids. It’s a huge project to give all of the youth a chance to play football. Hopefully there will be many great players soon here in Burundi.”
Around 1.5 million footballs have been distributed since it was first launched in Puerto Rico in 2019, and more than 23 million children are using the Football for Schools app.