Monday 10 July 2023, 09:00

Central and South Asian MAs gather for FIFA Forward 3.0 Workshop in Dubai

  • Dubai was the venue for a two-day workshop to discuss FIFA Forward 3.0 and other FIFA development programmes

  • Attendees came from Member Associations of Central and South Asian MAs which represents more than 20% of the total global population

  • FIFA Forward 3.0 sees an increase in FIFA football development investment of almost 30%

Representatives of FIFA’s six (6) Central Asian and five (5) South Asian Members Associations (MA) gathered in Dubai last week for a workshop to launch the new FIFA Forward 3.0, the latest in a global series.

FIFA Forward allows FIFA to redistribute income to all its association for the development of football, with the third and latest iteration, FIFA Forward 3.0, launched at the start of this year.

The programme has provided support for FIFA’s 211 MAs since 2016. Two successful iterations of the programme have been completed since its inception with over 2.8 billion USD committed to a diverse array of plans and projects.

This current cycle, which ends in 2026, sees a greatly increased level of funding with investment increased by almost 30 per cent with a significant element of the investment to support FIFA’s goal of having 60 million female players participating in football worldwide.

In Dubai, as well as the focus on FIFA Forward 3.0, the workshop also touched on several important topics including women’s football and global football development programmes.

Additionally, MAs did deep dives on other administrative topics such as financial governance, compliance, good governance principles, and there were also discussions on FIFA Football for Schools and FIFA Digital Skills.

Executive Committee Member of Bhutan FF, Chencho Norbu, said the workshop was not only educational, but allowed MAs to share ideas and learn from each other.

“Bhutan Football Federation (BFF) has a huge reliance on FIFA and the support it makes available in the development of football in our country. Our investment in infrastructure facilities through the support of the FIFA Forward program has helped us achieve recent results and shows that Bhutan Football is on the right path,” said Norbu.

“Coming to this workshop allows us to have an opportunity to interact and share the realities of our country with other member associations, and we can learn from each other's experiences and take the positives back to support players, coaches, and referees domestically. This opportunity is not only from member associations in South Asia but also from our neighboring regions, such as Central Asia as well.”

Aliet Mursaliev, Kyrgyz FU Advisor to the President for Strategic Development, said FIFA Forward funding is crucial to his nation.

“In the Kyrgyz Republic, the FIFA Forward Programme has allowed us to invest in football infrastructure in a structured manner in line with the Contract of Agreed Objectives that FIFA signs with each member association to provide tailor-made support. We cannot deny the fact that we are heavily dependent on FIFA for our budgets, and this workshop is very important to us to learn about the new cycle,” said Mursaliev.

“At the moment, we are building our new HQ with funds from the previous Forward program, and we are very proud that FIFA President Gianni Infantino and the President of our country, Sadyr Zhaparov, inaugurated the project together back in May. We will continue to utilize our Forward funds to build more football infrastructures around the country, and we hope that with more facilities such as football pitches and technical centers, more people will be able to play football and share our passion for the game.”