Importance of sport discussed as CARICOM SG, FIFA President meet in Georgetown

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Secretary-General of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and President of the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA), Mr. Giovanni Infantino, agreed on the importance of sport to youth development and to society as a whole.

Mr. Infantino paid a courtesy call on the Secretary-General on Tuesday at the Georgetown, Guyana, Headquarters of the CARICOM Secretariat.

Ambassador LaRocque informed the FIFA President that sports persons were among the original categories under the free movement of skills regime of the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME). The Secretary-General said that sports was valuable as a social investment which could assist in channeling the youth towards positive endeavours and as a means of instilling discipline. It could also provide a career path, the Secretary-General added.

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Ambassador LaRocque mentioned that the Community was in the midst of preparing a Human Resource Development Strategy and sport was an important element given the holistic nature of the development process.

Both CARICOM and FIFA are undergoing reforms and Mr. Infantino emphasised his focus on transparency and good governance. He said the primary responsibility of FIFA was the development of football all over the world. He noted that of the US$1.4 billion invested in projects worldwide by his organisation, the Caribbean benefitted from approximately US$60 million in the past year.

Mr. Infantino has met with the Heads of Government of Grenada, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago during this visit and left for Suriname later on Tuesday.