FIFA President Blatter was in Yaounde, Cameroon on Monday 5 May 2014 in order to attend the inauguration of the CAF Centre of Excellence in the Mbankomo district.
The centre is the first of three which is being constructed by CAF and boasts three football pitches as well as volleyball, handball and basketball facilities as well as an Olympic-sized swimming pool and gymnasium. The other centres will be located in Addis Ababa and Dakar.
The centre, which is expected to provide training facilities referees from across Africa is considered to be a landmark in Cameroon’s footballing history.
Having been partially open for the past four years, Mbankomo has already played host to CAF training and development workshops and seminars; served as a base for Cameroon’s Indomitable Lions and hosted a number of top-flight games in the country.
FIFA participated in the building of the centre through its Win in Africa with Africa programme, by providing artificial turf for the pitches. When inaugurating the Centre along with CAF President Issa Hayatou, FIFA President Blatter said “this CAF Centre of Excellence in Mbankomo will certainly help boost football development in Africa.”
After the ceremony, in which President Blatter was made an honorary citizen of Mbankomo, the FIFA delegation met the Cameroon Head of State, Paul Biya.
After the meeting, the FIFA President remarked that both had the same views on “how football is a force for good in society, producing emotions and connecting people.”