Thank you Mr Blatter

Over the weekend, the president of the football governing body, FIFA, Sepp Blatter jetted into the country for a two-day visit.

This is the second time that the FIFA president has visited this country. The first time he came here was when he came to official open the Lekidi Football Centre, a project funded by FIFA and the government of Botswana.Ever since he assumed the reigns at FIFA, Blatter has made a commitment that Africa is going to benefit from projects offered by FIFA.He has kept to that promise. Many African countries, Botswana included have benefitted from the FIFA Goal Projects.Had it not been for this gesture, a lot of African football associations would not have succeeded to the extent we are seeing them succeed today. It is during Blatter's reign that for the first time, Africa hosted the World Cup tournament. South Africa hosted the event in 2010 and this came out to be the best ever organised tournament. We want to thank FIFA through Blatter for dedicating resources to Africa. A lot of African countries are poor but they are awash with football talent. Such programmes help to nurture that talent.

During his visit here over the weekend, the Zurich based president, inaugurated a project under the FIFA Goal Project Three which will see the football pitch at the Lekidi Centre covered with artificial grass. This will be the second such artificial pitch in Botswana. FIFA also helped with the installation of the artificial pitch in Molepolole.Already two projects have been completed under the FIFA Goal Project in Botswana. The first project was the construction of the Lekidi Football Centre and associated building that include the Technical Centre and accommodation rooms. In the last two years a hostel building was also constructed. Blatter had the opportunity to officially open the building whilst still here. The three projects that have already been awarded to the Botswana Football Association (BFA) have come in handy to the cash strapped organisation. Before Lekidi Centre came into being, the BFA had it tough in getting proper accommodation in terms of office space. Now this is history as the association has office space and this allows them to do their work without hindrance.We want to encourage the BFA to take advantage of these projects and develop football in this country so that it reaches high standards. Botswana football has for a very long time been lagging behind. That FIFA is continuing to allocate the BFA projects is a clear testament that FIFA is happy that their funding is being fully utilised and we hope that the powers that be will continue the good work so that more projects will be allocated to Botswana.

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