- The late Kofi Annan was a passionate footballer
- He played as Number 7 because he was a sprinter
- The late former UN secretary-general will be buried in Accra today, September 13, 2018
The late former United Nations secretary-general, Kofi Annan, was an avid football lover, Briefly.co.za understands.
He did not only love football, he also ‘played on the right wing’, according to a report by Modern Ghana.com.
Annan was an avid supporter of the world’s most popular game - World Cup - and during his time in the UN, he was said to have created an admirable relationship with the world football governing body, FIFA.
According to the Modern Ghana report, Annan said he played football in his younger years, as the 2010 World Cup in South Africa was about to begin.
“Yes, I am a football fan. I love the game and I played it as a young man up to and through my university years. I played on the right wing because I was a sprinter. But now I only sit in the armchair and follow it. I will be going to the Final, hopefully to see an African team play in it,” Kofi Annan said.
In 2010, the late Kofi Annan called on the International Community to increase its efforts to use sport as a tool to fight poverty, heal divisions and protect the planet.
Speaking at the SportAccord International Convention in Dubai, he recognised the remarkable efforts being made around the world to use sport as a ‘positive force’ and called for increased partnership between the sporting community, civil societies, private sector and development agencies.
He also highlighted the importance the FIFA World Cup brought to Africa in 2010 saying the tournament would increase support and investment from foreigners.
“Just as sport helps undermine myths and prejudices for individuals and groups, I believe this summer will have the same impact on a continent-wide scale."
"A highly successful tournament will help alter perceptions and play its part in increasing investment and support. It will underline the rich talent and potential there is in Africa not just in football but in every area if the right framework is put in place,” the former UN Secretary General pledged.
Kofi Annan was indeed passionate about football. During the launch of the International Year of Sport and Physical Education at the UN In 2005, he underscored the importance of sport in bringing people together, teaching teamwork and tolerance as well as fostering peace among countries.
“Sport is a universal language. At its best it can bring people together, no matter what their origin, background, religious beliefs or economic status. And when young people participate in sports or have access to physical education, they can experience real exhilaration even as they learn the ideals of teamwork and tolerance."
"That is why the United Nations is turning more and more to the world of sport for help in our work for peace and our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals,” the UN website quoted Kofi Annan as saying.
The 80-year-old Nobel peace laureate died on August 18 after suffering from an illness, leaving behind a wife, and three children.
At the time of filing this report, his funeral and burial service were underway at the Accra International Conference Center, where many dignitaries from all over the world converged.
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