Monday 16 December 2019, 16:43

FIFA and AFFA team up for a groundbreaking knowledge sharing workshop in Baku

  • First FIFA workshop sees all four Russian-speaking Central Asian countries gathered in one event

  • Participants shared their experience in strategy, organisational structure, women's football, club licensing, revenue streams, infrastructure development and other crucial aspects of football development

  • The event organised under FIFA Forward 2.0’s umbrella included a stadia tour and inspection of other AFFA facilities

In line with FIFA’s dedicated strategy to support capacity building and knowledge-sharing initiatives in all possible ways throughout its 211 member associations (MAs), FIFA’s Regional Development Office in Dubai together with the Association of Football Federations of Azerbaijan (AFFA), organised a workshop for the four Russian-speaking Central Asian MAs dedicated to knowledge-sharing in Baku from 11 to 12 December 2019. In attendance were representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. One of the key aims for this workshop was to inspire experience-sharing between the associations, which have considerably common historical and cultural backgrounds.

Day one of the event was dedicated to presentations prepared by AFFA representatives devoted to FIFA Forward projects, development strategies and collaboration with other football bodies, legal requirements for clubs, league structure, clubs' revenue, women's football, technical development and elite training. The delegates discussed challenges and competitive balance of a professional football league as well as various case studies. Neftchi PFK president Kamran Quliyev delivered a presentation on club structure, strategy and revenue streams.

Day two commenced with visits to various football venues around Baku, including Bakcell Arena, Baku Olympic Stadium, Dalga Arena and Bayil stadium as well as AFFA’s National Teams Training Centre in Dalga. AFFA officials in attendance discussed the main aspects of infrastructural projects and shared their vast experience on the subject.

"I would like to thank FIFA and AFFA for the chance to gain a lot of knowledge and meet many experts and friends. We hope more of such workshops will be held in future. We now feel more confident and prepared for new projects," Kanatbek Mamatov, FFKR president, commented.

"First of all, I would like to thank FIFA for this opportunity to hold such a workshop. The topics discussed were important for all present associations in Baku. We were happy to share our experience and to hear other opinions and recommendations. In particular, we would like to highlight the importance of the FIFA Development programme as it was an important pillar for many of our infrastructural projects, like Ganja, Tovuz and Baku Olympic Stadium," Elkhan Mammadov, AFFA General Secretary, said.

"I think this is a very useful workshop. I wish there were more of them, and that the geography of the workshop became more and more diverse. It is important to know that all the countries of the world that share the values of football communicate and exchange about their knowledge for the best of the game. In Baku, we shared our experience with Russian-speaking Central Asian countries. I am sure we can use it in the future both on club and association level. I am very thankful to FIFA and everyone who contributed to organizing this workshop. Such events are crucial to football development in our countries," Kamran Guliyev, Neftci PFK president, expressed.

"This was the first ever event tailor-made for Russian-speaking member associations of the Central Asian region of Asia. All of them, as well as AFFA, are considerably young institutions founded only at the beginning of the 1990s after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We believe it is crucial for them to share knowledge and experience to bring football in these countries to a new level. As all of them can speak a common language, communication is very easy between these MAs," Sanjeevan C. Balasingam, FIFA Director of Member Associations Asia and Oceania, concluded.