Foreign Minister Didier Reynders is thinking of asking members of the national football team to take part in princely economic missions, Sudpresse reported on Tuesday. Marouane Fellini and Nacer Chadli are already being mentioned in connection with a yearend mission to Morocco, according to Sudpresse.
Thus far, in conversations during missions abroad, “people spoke to me mainly about chocolate, waffles and beer, but from now on the Red Devils surpass everything,” Reynders was quoted as saying.
“On a recent mission to Uruguay and Argentina, all my interlocutors spoke only of Hazard and De Bruyne; they are great for the country’s image,” added the minister, who followed most of the Belgian team’s World Cup matches in Russia.
In the past, Vincent Kompany’s help had been envisaged for the diplomatic campaign that earned Belgium a seat on the United Nations Security Council. However, the heavy schedules and club demands of these top world footballers are difficult to reconcile. Similar possibilities had also been mentioned with former Red Devil Mbo Mpenza.
As with the royal family, the Red Devil’s presence on economic missions would help to open doors that otherwise would remain closed, according to Reynders, as was the case in 2015 when Justine Henin, former world No. 1 in tennis, took part in an economic mission to Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
Should one wait for their careers to end before sending the Red Devils on such missions? Reynders was quoted as saying in Sudpresse on Tuesday that he has already begun to associate the Belgian Football Union and its president, Gérard Linard, with such a plan.
For Linard, it would even be possible to implement such cooperation in the next princely economic mission, which will be to Morocco. In this connection, he mentioned Marouane Fellini and Nacer Chadli.