Thursday 15 September 2022, 21:15

FIFA looks forward with European associations at final seminar

  • Third and final FIFA seminar for European member associations

  • Thirteen member associations and their delegates meet at the FIFA office in Paris

  • Topics included cooperation, development of football and FIFA Forward Programme

FIFA exchanged ideas about football development with representatives of 13 more European member associations plus UEFA during a seminar its Paris office on September 15. Women’s football, Football for Schools projects and safeguarding and child protection were also discussed during the seminar for European member associations. The idea behind the seminars was for FIFA to explain its development programmes, in particular the Forward Programme, in detail and exchanged ideas with both the member associations and UEFA.

The Forward programme was introduced in 2016 to provide all-round, tailor-made support for football development in each of FIFA’s 211 member associations and the six confederations as part of FIFA's Vision of making football truly global. Tom Gorissen, director FIFA Member Associations Services, also explained what he considered as essentials for each member association.

FIFA Member Associations Director Tom Gorissen speaks

“We would like to help ensure that each member association can run a men’s competition, a women’s competition and have a men’s national team, a women’s national team. Ideally, we would like to see them have a boys’ competition, a girls’ competition and national teams in the same categories,” he said. “Nowadays, it is also important to have a functional player registration system, and last but not least, promotion and development of referees.” What the participants said: Angelo Chetcuti, General Secretary, Malta Football Association (MFA) "It’s important to feel that there is an open door, (that) there is an open channel of communication with FIFA and that there is no one-size-fits-all (approach) because all associations have their own specific challenges. And it’s good to see that FIFA is open to listening to those challenges and to adapting and adjusting its initiatives to address those challenges.”

Director Member Associations Europe Elkhan Mammadov poses for a photo with Malta Football Association General Secretary Angelo Chetcuti and Malta Football Association Deputy Treasurer Kurt Loporto

Yossi Sharabi, Chief Executive Officer, Israeli Football Association (IFA) "We received a lot of knowledge and information that we can use. I met a lot of my colleagues, who are facing different kinds of challenges, but the way they’re facing their challenges is very important for me as an (Israeli) FA (executive) to learn (about), to study and to implement (from) their experience. It’s very interesting to see what are the main challenges that a lot of us as a huge family of football are facing. So, it was very enriching, very important and something to go with because it’s not ending here."

FIFA Director Member Associations Europe Elkhan Mammadov (L) and Israel Football Association CEO Yossi Sharabi

Jonathan Hill, General Secretary, Football Association of Ireland (FAI) "It’s very encouraging to hear that the principle of solidarity with all of the 200 plus member associations in FIFA is still as strong as it was previously. The conversation about how to distribute, how to use the FIFA Forward funds was obviously an important one as well as an interesting one. But, as I say, we discussed many different things and for me, the conversation around safeguarding was as important as the conversation around football in schools. There are so many issues that we have to deal with on a day-to-day basis running a sport like football but it’s great to have the experts from FIFA to give us their views as well and explain how they can help us moving forward."

FIFA Director Member Associations Europe Elkhan Mammadov (L) and FAI CEO Jonathan Hill