By Justin Kayiranga
President Paul Kagame condemned the use political divisions in sports that is affecting African players and female referees around the World.
The statement was made when He was officiating the 73rd FIFA Congress that is being held in Kigali on March 16th,2023.
In his remarks, President Kagame reminded the congress participants that sport should be considered as a tool to bring people together instead of bringing division as other methods set to promoting global solidarity are becoming fragile.
Recalling on the last year’s FIFA World Cup held in Qatar, President Kagame congratulated the host country and the FIFA for organizing on of the best World cup tournaments and condemned criticisms raised over the reason why Qatar hosted it.
He said “What the World needs is to see more of positive spirits of sportsmanship in our politics rather than bringing political divisions into sports.”
“We need to keep bad politics out of sports as we saw last year in the constant hypocritical criticisms at the World cup. Instead of asking why is it being held there, first ask why not.”
President Kagame also pointed out that the political division in sports is a reflection of the problems facing the society today which is the reason why the World needs to work together to ensure that the game is inclusive and respectful of everyone.
“When fans throw bananas at African football players or taunt a female referee, that is because of a negative social environment that feeds those wrong behaviors.
Kagame hailed the expansion of the number of teams at 2026 World Cup
The 2026 FIFA World Cup that will take place from June 11 to July 19, 2026 and jointly hosted by three North American countries namely Canada, Mexico, and the United States, is expected to have the number of participating teams increased from 32 to 48.
President welcomed the increase and attested that it will benefit national teams in Africa to the extent of having a doubled number of African teams at the tournament.
“Under this format, the slots available for African teams will almost double, creating even more engagement and visibility on our continent.” President Kagame
The 73rd FIFA Congress held in Kigali, has been also a juncture for Gianni Infantino to be re-elected as the President of FIFA for the third time.
Infantino, who was voted on acclamation, is considered by the President of Rwanda as a leader FIFA needed based on his values and vision for the positive role that football can play in society.
“He deserves to continue to lead this organization.” Said Kagame, the president of Rwanda.