Football will always be used to unite people – CAF President- Hayatou

Thursday 10 April 2014

/ by Colin Udoh

Confederation of African Football President, Issa Hayatou joined world dignitaries in Kigali, Rwanda to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Rwanda Genocide. He visited the Kigali Genocide Memorial where he laid a wreath on a mass grave. President Hayatou who was also representing FIFA in his capacity as FIFA Vice President said, “Football will always be used for unity and reconciliation among people. This tragedy should not be allowed to happen again in the history of human beings. Football will continue serving as a tool to unite African people and the sport will continue to play an important role to unite people and countries helping prevent and fight against Genocide worldwide".

He added, "What happened here in 1994 should never be allowed to occur in any country, be it in Africa or in the world. As CAF, we are here to show the world that we can be united by the use of a powerful tool called football. Football is a powerful force that reaches out to everyone; fostering positive transformation and development in many lands," Hayatou said.

Since the genocide, Rwanda has made many strides and in football has hosted the African Youth Championship(U-20) in 2009, the CAF Under-17 Championship in 2011 and will host 2016 African Nations Championship (CHAN) tournament. President Hayatou went on to say CAF awarded Rwanda the right to host CHAN 2016 to assist the ongoing efforts with unity and reconciliation in the country and the continent was looking forward to converging on Rwanda with the world watching the best local African talent not only compete for honours but a nation showcasing how it has emerged from the genocide and continued to develop.

President Hayatou was accompanied on his visit to the Memorial by CAF 2nd Vice-president Almamy Kabele Camara, CAF Secretary General, Hicham El Amrani and Rwanda Football Federation chairman Nzamwita Vincent Degaule.

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