The Commission and FIFA have joined forces to promote football as a factor for development in Africa, in the Caribbean and Pacific countries.
The Commission and the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to make football a force for development in Africa, in the Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries.
According to the Commission, around 50 million people across Africa play football regularly and for many of these people football is “an act of survival, a means to restore normality in traumatised communities, to rebuild confidence, and to promote tolerance and solidarity in countries torn apart by natural disasters, war or poverty”. “Linking football with development programmes, can help make a difference to the lives of millions of children,” said Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel.
The Commission-FIFA MoU covers a number of areas ranging from development co-operation and humanitarian aid to racism, post-conflict reconstruction, nation building, health and education. Any EU financial contribution will be made from the current 9th European Development Fund (EDF) and later on from the 10th EDF.
The next FIFA World Cup 2010 will, for the first time, be held on the African continent, in South Africa. The Commission and FIFA wish to see this initiative to foster economic development in Africa and to boost cultural exchange with the continent over the next four years.