FIFA president Gianni Infantino made his first visit to Cuba on Saturday as he met with the countryâ€™s sports officials in the capital, Havana, to kick off his tour of Latin America.
Cuban National Olympic Committee president Jose Ramon Fernandez Alvarez and vice president of the Cuban National Sports Academy Roberto Leon Richard accompanied Infantino as they visited La Polar Stadium, which has been installed with an artificial football pitch through funding under FIFAâ€™s Goal Program.
Infantino gave the ceremonial first kick to start a match at the stadium.
After the match, he said FIFA supports the development of football in Cuba and will send coaches to the Caribbean island country.
â€œCuba already has two advantages. First, Cuban people are very enthusiastic about sports, especially football;. Second, the Cuban people have talents in sports, of course, football included. Therefore, what we need to do now, and what we are going to do in the future, is to combine this enthusiasm and talent with FIFA programs and the 2026 World Cup. Cuban football will not only develop, but will take off to the world,â€ said Infantino.
Cuba is the first stop on his Latin American tour. He is scheduled to make stops in Puerto Rico and Dominica.