Thursday 07 December 2023, 13:00

Financial Governance Workshop held in Saly

  • Representatives from ten CAF member associations gathered in Senegal from 5 to 7 December

  • Workshop focused on financial governance

  • Programme included hands-on thematic sessions, presentations, discussions, group exercises and case studies

Representatives from ten CAF member associations flocked to Saly, Senegal, for a FIFA Financial Governance Workshop held from 5 to 7 December. Organised under the aegis of the FIFA Forward Programme, the event brought together delegates from countries in West and Central Africa to exchange views and take part in a variety of sessions aimed at developing the associations’ financial governance capacity.

The workshop was run by members of FIFA’s Member Associations Financial Governance & Oversight Services Department, external auditors and staff from FIFA’s Regional Development Office in Dakar. This office provides year-round financial, organisational and human resources to help the member associations within its catchment area to implement FIFA-supported development projects.

The event kicked off with several general presentations. The participants subsequently got stuck into the nitty-gritty with a series of thematic sessions devoted to crucial subjects covered in the Financial Governance Guide published by FIFA earlier this year, including conflicts of interest, procurement, planning, budgeting and accounting.

“The Financial Governance Guide is an invaluable tool for our member associations, especially as it was specifically designed to address the shortcomings identified in the past,” said Christoph Suppiger, the Head of FIFA’s Member Associations Financial Governance & Oversight Services Department. “The Financial Governance Workshops are an educational programme and a forum for discussion offering all participating member associations the opportunity to boost the capacity of their administrators and FIFA Forward Programme managers,” explained Octave Adialo, the General Secretary of the Central African Republic Football Association, who welcomed the event’s focus on conflicts of interest. “It provided a platform to openly share our experiences and to work together on approaches to tackling this issue, which is a risk for all associations and can be a slippery slope on the road to bad governance.”

In our case, it’s thanks to FIFA’s multifaceted support that we as an association are able to cover our day-to-day running costs while being in a position to invest and lay the ground for the future

Sylvestre Engohang Obiang
Head of Finance at the Gabonese Football Federation

“The approach implemented by President Gianni Infantino and his team through the FIFA Forward Programme has convinced the sceptics,” enthused Augustin Senghor, the President of the Senegalese Football Association. “FIFA was wise to provide training, capacity-building initiatives and access to modern, transparent financial management tools, without which these associations wouldn’t be able to put the substantial FIFA Forward funds to good use.”

“To plan for the future, we have to take care of the present,” stressed Gelson Fernandes, the Director of the FIFA Member Associations Africa Subdivision. “We want our member associations to be able to access all the funds made available by FIFA, and in that regard, oversight and planning are key. This workshop enables us to enhance the member associations’ knowledge in these areas.”

The level of financial support that FIFA has allocated its member associations and the confederations to foster the development of the game has been on the rise since 2016. The launch of FIFA Forward 3.0 has seen the funding increase by 30% against the previous cycle, which calls for more concerted efforts in ensuring good practice in terms of financial management and oversight.

It is against this backdrop that FIFA regularly organises workshops like the one held in Saly in destinations all around the world, with a view to ensuring that the work carried out under President Infantino’s vision of making football truly global is built on solid and sound foundations.