H.E. Mr. Daouda Azoupiou, Minister of Sports for Burkina Faso “Africa FootGoal allowed us to tackle a very important aspect of Football…Governance”

Africa FootGoal : Minister. What are your impressions after taking part in this first edition of Africa Footgoal?

Daouda Azoupiou : I would like to congratulate the initiators of this conference. It allowed us to tackle a very important subject, which is the governance of football, football itself which is anchored in our mores, which is a very important instrument, which allows us to resolve issues in our society. As I said during the panel, it’s to create jobs, it’s to create wealth, because here in Burkina Faso you cannot imagine articulated sets, duplexes, a lot of things are made from football and I must say that it is a fundamental part of our development. I would therefore like to congratulate the actors and recommend that this conference be able to be duplicated, continue, that many initiatives be taken which will allow us to go in depth, in even more specific themes so that our governance in football matters could have an even better tomorrow.

Africa FootGoal : Thank you, Minister. We have noticed that you have done an excellent job in Burkina Faso consisting in federating all the sports associations. Can you tell us about this program?

Daouda Azoupiou : It was a step when I had the honor, the chance, to be named head of the department. I took stock of the situation with all the actors of the sports movement and all those who intervene in the field of sport and football in particular. And this was reflected in a major seminar that I organized in Ouagadougou and we brought both experienced people to Burkina Faso but also experienced people who are available to FIFA and CAF. I am talking about a certain Faye that everyone knew well and many others who came and for three days we exchanged on the question of the professionalization of sport in Burkina Faso, therefore the question of the financing of sport in Burkina Faso and also the question of sports medicine. From these three themes, we were able to identify leads with everyone and we made recommendations to the public authorities. From there, we were inspired by the orientations that were given by the decision makers and, in the permanent dialogue, we were able to discuss together and find the means to act together to achieve the targets. This therefore means that in the field of training, we have been able to put in place all this mechanism which consists in setting up schools in the regions, and which do not only concern football but practically all sports because there are 11 disciplines involved. There is also the question of the organization as such, so the championships, the financing of the championships, the D1 and D2 groups therefore benefit from scholarships, but I found a way to support the great athletes of Burkina Faso. Faso who participate in major competitions such as the Olympic Games, such as other competitions, for example the Universiade, and many others around the world. Hugues Zango is an example, he is a future Olympic Games medalist because he beat his performance and he beat the world performance in his discipline. We must therefore provide support to athletes, we must provide better governance at the level of leaders and the state must also be present as the head that allows everyone to follow their role. I think this is how I tried by associating everyone, because I had a frank and sustained dialogue with the sports movement which is headed by Mr. Jean Yaméogo who is the president of the CNOSB, the Burkinabè National Olympic and Sports Committee with whom we have regular and quality discussions. And we tackle all the questions which concern the sport without taboo subjects. This is how the foundations have already been laid in Burkina Faso and we think that even after us, those who are here today will get involved and then it will always work, even if we are still there to support.

Africa FootGoal: Thank you, Minister. Do you have any plans today to host international events?

Daouda Azoupiou : Yes. Under my management we submitted a file to host the African Games for 2027. I think that the file is in progress and thank God we had the opportunity, it was in Morocco last year, to discuss with the supranational structure and I think the ear has been attentive to our commitment and what we have been able to present as arguments. We are also candidates for the Islamic Games in 2025. Here too we have been able to gather the necessary arguments to get there. Not to mention that recently I am the new minister to talk about CAN 2029 for the moment which is in our sights, but all this depends on our organization and the planning of our activities and the creation of infrastructure. For this, the president of Faso was able to include in his presidential program the construction of a certain number of infrastructures, whether for football, stadiums, neighborhood fields, whether for other sports, a velodrome for cycling, but there is no sport that has been forgotten and in five years it is a project that is very important that requires the mobilization of resources and we think we will get there. Without telling you, the university will have to clear more than 100 hectares for the Ministry of Sports to allow the construction of sports infrastructure. So we think that the fact that we can put in place the issue of the next generation of sports by the creation of schools which are under the tutelage of the federation but which also involve the communities because in the regions there are presidents of regional councils, it is also the mayors who participate in the management of infrastructures and the development of sport because the State has transferred all infrastructure to the communities and associations apart from the stadium of 4 Août and the Sangoulé Lamizana stadium which are the two stadiums which constitute the apple of our eyes and which host international competitions, notably CAF and even FIFA. So here is a dynamic that is engaged, people are engaged, who believe in sport, who believe in football because people like it very well and for that we think that we have chances. Same, partners just like you, when we have the opportunity to express ourselves, you will certainly adhere to our vision and support us. Thank you for that question, that’s what I had to say.

Africa FootGoal : Thank you very much Minister. It was a pleasure to have you with us. See you soon.