The director of the FIFA Foundation, Youri Djorkaeff, told AFP yesterday that he will visit Myanmar in the near future at the invitation of de facto head of state Aung San Suu Kyi.
Earlier this month, the ASEAN group of Southeast Asian countries and FIFA signed a memorandum of understanding “to leverage the role of football in social development in ASEAN.”
Djorkaeff, a World Cup winner with France in 1998, said Suu Kyi was interested in programs within the agreement such as “Football for School,” which aims to teach children the values that can be learned from football.
FIFA said a number of ASEAN countries had expressed an interest in “putting (the memorandum of understanding) into place on a more concrete basis.”
Myanmar has therefore “invited FIFA representatives to visit the country to continue discussions” at a date still to be arranged.
Suu Kyi has faced a barrage of criticism internationally over Myanmar’s handling of Rohingya refugees driven out by army operations more than two years ago.
Myanmar does not recognize the Rohingya as citizens.
FIFA says it is the foundation’s mission to engage with countries anywhere in the world and particularly those encountering unrest.
Subscribe to The Coconuts Podcast for top trending news and pop culture from Southeast Asia and Hong Kong every Friday!