President of the international federation of football (FIFA) Gianni Infantino
FIFA Pres.: happy, encouraged to welcome Kuwait back to football community
Geneva-- President of the international federation of football (FIFA) Gianni Infantino said Friday he was very happy and encouraged to welcome Kuwaiti football back into the international football community, and that he would attend Gulf Cup in Kuwait.
"During my visit to Kuwait earlier this week, I witnessed with my own eyes the delight of all Kuwaiti players and fans to be back - finally. It has been a long and tough period of suffering for them over the past two years," he added in a statement from his office from FIFA headquarters in Zurich.
"The initiative to move the 2017 Gulf Cup from Qatar to Kuwait to celebrate this event is a strong and symbolic sign," he said.
"I would like to congratulate and thank the Qatari football authorities for their honourable gesture, which was not unexpected as it is in line with Qatar's commitment as the host country of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, that this World Cup is indeed for the entire region," he explained.
He expressed his gratitude to the teams of Bahrain, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen for participating in this tournament.
"The solidarity and friendship shown by all illustrates once again the power of football to unite people across borders. The 2017 Gulf Cup will be a great celebration of football in the whole region and to have all eight teams participating in Kuwait sends a very powerful message to the world," he said "To mark this special occasion, it will be a great honour for me to attend the opening games of the 2017 Gulf Cup in Kuwait on 22 and 23 December. This tournament embraces the spirit of sportsmanship and is a great example of the values that FIFA and football strive to spread all around the world," he added.
The Executive Bureau of the Gulf football federation will meet in Doha, Qatar, next Monday to officially announce Kuwait as the official host of the 23rd Gulf Cup. The announcement followed Qatar's approval to move the championship from Doha to Kuwait following FIFA's lift of ban.