Monday , May 27 2024

Women’s football, youth participation & Beach Soccer central to Seychelles visit!

FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura has concluded a three-day visit to Seychelles as the African nation continues to prepare to host its first FIFA tournament.

Located in the Indian Ocean, comprised of 115 islands and a population of just over 100,000, Seychelles will host the 2025 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after being named as host in 2022.

Monday saw the FIFA Secretary General commence her visit with a meeting with Minister for Youth, Sports & Family Affairs, Marie-Celine Zialor.

Among the topics discussed in the meeting were the boosting of number of young players in sport through school participation, women’s on and off-field engagement in sport at all levels, Seychelles Football Federation initiatives such as their new youth academy, and the nation’s engagement with international sporting tournaments, commencing with the quadrennial Indian Ocean Islands Games in August.

The last couple of years have been an extremely productive period for Seychelles’ football. Seychelles entered the FIFA/Coca-Cola Women’s World Ranking for the very first time in mid-2022, and earlier this year, a plank in the development of future stars was laid with the launch of FIFA’s Football for Schools programme. Sandwiched between was last December’s confirmation of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup heading for Seychelles’ golden sands.

Speaking to local media, the FIFA Secretary General underlined how Minister Zialor had made a particular pledge to support the development of the women’s game, ensuring it is accessible to all, and citing the eight debutants at this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023™ as motivation to the country, saying “nothing is impossible.”

On the second day of the visit, the FIFA Secretary General visited the Seychelles Football Federation, learning more about the work of the team under the stewardship of Mr Elvis Chetty.

Just a few weeks ago, a new astroturf at the SFF was inaugurated during a visit by the FIFA President on the island of Mahé. While water sports are incredibly popular among tourists, the Roche Caiman Sports Complex serves the whole community, with regular physical exercise an important tool in the fight against increasing levels of obesity among children.

The complex is currently hosting a Beach Soccer Tournament which coincides with the National Day celebrations throughout the week. Representative national teams from Seychelles, Burundi, Madagascar, a Seychelles U20 side, and three local clubs made up the participants, with the FIFA Secretary General this evening being treated to a thrilling semi-final.

FIFA’s ongoing commitment to the Seychelles is assured and will continue next with the planned upgrading of the national stadium scheduled for Autumn 2023. FIFA Forward funding is earmarked to enhance the changing rooms and floodlights, with additional work to the hospitality facilities slated for January 2024 completion.

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