FIFA President Gianni Infantino attended the Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) in Vladivostok, Russia, where he had the opportunity to speak with a number of key political leaders in the Asia-Pacific region about the important role football can play towards healthy and sustainable development in the region and in their respective countries.
The forum was launched in 2015 as a platform to support the economic development of Russia’s Far East and to expand international cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region. This year’s edition gathered a broad array of political, business, social and cultural leaders, including President of Russia Vladimir Putin, Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of Japan Shinzō Abe, Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, President of Mongolia Khaltmaagiin Battulga and the Vice Premier of China PR Hu Chunhua.
The FIFA President was welcomed by Russian President Putin and the two leaders had the opportunity to discuss football development in the Russian Far East and the neighbouring region. The meeting focused on potential investments in football infrastructure and competition projects that would benefit the region. Infantino also held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Abe in order to further develop relations between Japan and FIFA. Japan has been a regular organiser of FIFA competitions, being the first Asian country, jointly with Korea Republic, to host a FIFA World Cup™ in 2002 and has organised numerous editions of the FIFA Club World Cup and is currently bidding for the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023.
Furthermore, the FIFA President met Prime Minister Modi, last seen at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires in December 2018. India hosted a very successful FIFA U-17 World Cup in 2017 and will host the upcoming FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup next year.
The programme of the two-day visit also included a visit to the Dynamo Stadium, home of the local football club Luch and a rich encounter with young local footballers at a football school in Vladivostok.