Key milestones of the Ivory Coast national football teamFootball
Gianni Infantino Applauds Soweto Derby and AFL Final for Spectacle and Atmosphere
- Gianni Infantino has spoken about his weekend at South Africa's biggest football matches
- The FIFA President was treated to the greatest local derby as well as a continental final
- Infantino praised the enthusiasm of the Soweto fans and the impact of the AFL
South Africa has received a glowing stamp of approval.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino has given a positive review of his weekend in South Africa where he attended Orlando Pirates' 1-0 Soweto Derby win over Kaizer Chiefs.
The following day, Infantino was present as Mamelodi Sundowns lifted the inaugural African Football League trophy at Loftus Stadium.
The weekend was a showpiece advertisement for the country and along with Infantino, CAF President Patrice Motsepe and refereeing legend Pierluigi Collina, formed the footballing dignitaries that graced proceedings.
At the FNB Stadium, it was the first time Infantino had experienced the full might of the Calabash since the 2010 FIFA World Cup when home fans' enthusiasm was unrestrained.
In a press release issued by FIFA, Infantino is quoted as saying:
"I had forgotten how emotional this stadium is. It’s a great game, great atmosphere, great passion, incredible, incredible fans.”
The African Football League is a project Infantino has been spearheading in tandem with his CAF counterpart.
Patrice Motsepe was delighted to have his team be the inaugural winners of what will become an expanded 24-team competition next season.
Acknowledging the impact of the African Football League, FIFA quoted their President's words:
"African football won today. This is a great day for Africa, it's a great day for football, it's a great day for the world."
Infantino's visit was not confined to the stadia, as he partook in several discussions relating to the growth of the game in Southern Africa.
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Sports Brief recently compiled a starting lineup based on the Soweto Derby and AFL final performances.
Both teams earned a clean sheet and Mamelodi Sundowns pounced on errors to earn their 2-0 win.
Orlando Pirates delivered the desired entertainment as their attackers played with freedom and flair.