The Rwandan government and the world football governing body, FIFA, launched a school football program in Rwanda on Tuesday.
FIFA officials, along with students, teachers, coaches and icons, attended the ceremony at the IPRC-Kicukiro football stadium in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital.
It is one of the events of the 73rd congress of FIFA that will take place in Rwanda on Thursday, where it is expected that the President of FIFA Gianni Infantino will seek re-election.
The “Football for Schools” is part of a worldwide FIFA program to be implemented in partnership with host governments and UNESCO, with the target to reach 700 million children across the globe.
In Rwanda, the program is targeting more than 4,000 educational institutions in the next four years, according to the Rwandan Ministry of Sports
With an investment of US$100 million, the program will be implemented through a partnership between the Rwandan Ministries of Sports and Education and the local football governing body, FERWAFA.
“The Football for School Program comes as a contributor to Rwanda’s vision of being a sports hub and there is no better way than starting with children,” Rwandan Minister of Sports Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju said at the ceremony.
According to the ministry, schools provide an effective and efficient way to engage young people in sport, especially in countries without effective club structures.
The program aims to ensure access to football for all players without discrimination.
“We are proud to launch this milestone. This program fits in the government’s will to promote inclusiveness in sports,” said Munyangaju.
Under the program, FIFA will provide sports equipment including 20,000 footballs to schools because this is a challenge in many schools, said FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura.