The Malian Football Federation (Fémafoot) organized on Friday, September 16, at the Radisson Collection hotel, the 1st edition of the Night of Recognition and Merit to celebrate the former presidents of Fémafoot, the men and women who have served Malian football throughout their lives. During the evening, a vibrant tribute was paid to these tireless men and women who worked for the development of Malian football.

The ceremony was chaired by Mossa Ag Attaher, Minister of Youth and Sports, in charge of Civic Education and Citizen Construction, in the presence of Mrs. Diarra Raky Talla, representative of the President of the National Council of the Transition, Habib Sissoko, President of the National Olympic and Sports Committee of Mali (Cnosm), Mamoutou Touré dit Bavieux, President of the Malian Football Federation, Lieutenant-Colonel Ckeick Mohamed Chérif Tounkara, President of the Assimi Goïta Super Cup Organizing Committee, as well as of several sports officials in the country. It is to magnify the men and women who have served Malian sport in general and football in particular with selflessness and dedication that the Malian Football Federation initiated this night of recognition and merit. These are the former presidents of Fémafoot, former players, deans of the sports press, political and sports personalities, as well as partners of the governing body of Malian football, including Orange-Mali and Pmu-Mali.

Thus, honorary distinctions were awarded to six (6) former presidents of Fémafoot, in particular, Ousmane Diarra, Amadou Diakité, Tidiane Médian Niambélé, Salif Kéïta dit Domingo, Feu Hamadoun Kolado Cissé and Feu Boubacar Baba Diarra.

Six (6) former internationals also benefited from this distinction. This is Abdoul Karim Touré said ”Bacun”‘, Abdoulaye Diawara said Blocus, Karounga Kéïta said Kéké, Idrissa Traoré said Poker, Amadou Pathé Diallo and Yacouba Traoré said Yaba.

Sports journalists have not been forgotten by the president of Fémafoot; five (5) received distinctions from the hands of Mamoutou Touré dit Bavieux. They are Mamadou Diarra, Mamadou Kouyaté, Djibril Traoré, Mamadou Kaloga and Baba Cissouma.

In addition, fourteen (14) political and sports personalities were honored. Among these, we can cite the Minister of Youth and Sports, in charge of Civic Education and Citizen Construction, Mossa AG Attaher, Colonel Malick Diaw, President of the CNT, Habib Sissoko, President of the Cnosm, Mrs. Daou Fatoumata Guindo, former president of Conor, Aboubacar Sadikh Diop, Managing Director of Orange-Mali, Fassery Doumbia, Managing Director of Pmu-Mali, Ibrahima N’Diaye, CEO of BDM, Mahamadou Samake, sports manager and president of Stade Malien de Bamako, LT-Colonel Cheick Mohamed Chérif Tounkara, Chairman of the Organizing Committee “Assimi Goïta Super Cup”Sidi Bekaye Magassa, former international football referee, Bachécou Dit Sékou Doucouré, illustrator model maker, Late Sory Ibrahima Diarra, decorative painter, Adjaratou Cissé, retired Fémafoot employee and Yacouba Sery Koné, former president of the Sikasso League.

In his speech, the boss of the Department of Youth and Sports welcomed this initiative of the Malian Football Federation. “I am here at this evening to support this noble approach of the president of Fémafoot, Mamoutou Touré dit Bavieux. Like, I often say, we need recognition more than gifts. For me, the best gift we can give to those who have served the country is to show them the gratitude of the nation. I felt this need for recognition a year ago when the President of the Transition, Colonel Assimi Goïta, instructed to award medals of sporting merit to athletes who have served the country. I read in the eyes of the recipients a lot of joy, pride and above all this feeling of finally being recognized”, he suggested, before urging the president of Femafoot to continue to bring together the actors of Malian football.

For his part, the president of the Malian Football Federation explained that this evening was initiated by Femafoot in order to honor the people who have given themselves courageously for the influence of Malian football. “You know, each of the recipients has their merit and each of them has served Malian football selflessly, at some point in their life, through sport, football. We have seen these people spend sleepless nights, sleep on the ground, contribute to the progress of the discipline. These distinctions are the least we can give them”he said.

Amadou Diakité, spokesperson for the recipients, described this initiative by the president of Fémafoot as unique. “In the history of Malian football, we never once thought of rewarding those who came before us. I recognize that it was a mistake on our part, but this executive committee led by Bavieux has fixed it and I hope that future generations will be inspired by this”he said.

Mahamadou Traore

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