SPORTS: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) lighting up Congolese football

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Two stabilised hard ground football pitches in Kinshasa have been illuminated for the very first time thanks to solar panels installed with the support of the FIFA Forward Programme
ZURICH, Switzerland, March 5, 2020/ — Solar panels helping light pitches in Congo DR; Project supported by FIFA Forward Programme; “FIFA’s goal is to increase participation in football worldwide”.

Two stabilised hard ground football pitches in Kinshasa have been illuminated for the very first time thanks to solar panels installed with the support of the FIFA Forward Programme.

Following an unveiling ceremony attended by President of the Football Association of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Constant Omari and FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba, local youth teams took part in an inaugural friendly match to celebrate the event.

The project, initiated by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, was inspired by the FIFA Forward Programme, which, since 2016, has been driving the development of football around the world by giving tailor-made support to FIFA’s 211 member associations. A key focus of the programme is the sustainable improvement of sporting and administrative infrastructure.

Following the success of a FIFA-funded pilot project to install solar-powered floodlighting in Burkina Faso in 2017, work on the project in the Kasa-Vubu municipality of Kinshasa began in June 2019. The newly installed floodlights will enable the children and young people in the area to use the football facilities and pursue their passion long after nightfall.

“FIFA’s goal is to increase participation in football worldwide,” said FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer Véron Mosengo-Omba. “Thanks to the solar-powered lighting in Kinshasa, the children no longer have to play football in high temperatures at midday or in the afternoon, but can use the pitch until midnight. This creates a flexibility that will benefit the community and football in the country equally.”

FIFA is currently developing environment standards for infrastructure financed by the Forward Programme, which will be enforced for all new infrastructure projects as of 2021.

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