Durban, Nov 24: FIFA is to spend 70 million dollars on projects to improve African soccer while the continent prepares to host the 2010 World Cup finals.
The installation of artificial pitches, introduction of professional leagues and administration and training of coaches and doctors form part of the 'Win with Africa in Africa' initiative launched last year.
''There is a strong feeling that this World Cup should leave a legacy through out the African continent, not only for 2010 hosts South Africa,'' FIFA's director for international relations Jerome Champagne told reporters today.
''We aim to create better facilities, increase management skills and access to football,'' he added.
An artificial pitch is to be installed in all but one of Africa's 53 member countries, the only exception being World Cup hosts South Africa. A total of 21 have already been completed, most of them in national stadiums.
The project also supports the development of national leagues, with training and equipment.
Champagne said similar projects had been launched for India, Oceania and the Caribbean.