Friday 14 June 2019, 07:25

FIFA steps up its support for football development in Americas

  • The 3rd edition of the FIFA Forward Program workshops has been held

  • The 2019-22 cycle has a 20 per cent increase in contribution for member federations

  • Up to December 2018 there were 120 projects assigned to the offices of the Americas region

The turn of the year ushered in a new chapter for the FIFA Forward development programme. The 2019-2022 cycle, which kicked off on 1 January, represents an outstanding opportunity for FIFA’s member associations (MAs) to keep growing football, thanks to a 20% increase in the investment in the programme. However, this additional funding will also bring extra challenges for MAs, given the stiffened requirements in relation to transparency in the use of Forward entitlements and to the planning and implementation of projects and essential activities for the worldwide development of the game. Accordingly, FIFA is bolstering the technical and administrative assistance that it provides to MAs, with a view to offering them a comprehensive and tailored support service.

As part of this process, the FIFA MA Americas Subdivision held the third edition of its FIFA Forward development programme workshops in Buenos Aires and Miami this past May. A total of 23 MAs came together to exchange ideas and enhance their knowledge with the goal of accelerating their all‑important professionalisation. General secretaries, development directors, administrators and finance officers shared their experiences regarding the creation and implementation of their long-term strategic plans, project management, football infrastructure fundamentals, the staging of youth competitions and robust financial governance.

FIFA’s support and monitoring, delivered by its ten regional offices, play a crucial role in the day-to-day workings of the Forward Programme. Established in late 2017, these offices provide personalised assistance geared towards helping each member association to achieve its strategic development objectives, in line with its specific priorities and needs.

FIFA’s regional offices for the Americas are located in Panama City and Asunción and offer continued support on the management of processes and resources related to the Forward Programme. Among other things, they assist member associations in planning, launching and following up on development activities, identifying high-impact projects and improving their administration both strategically and structurally.

FIFA steps up its support for football development in Americas

These offices’ geographic proximity and their staff’s proactivity, frequent visits to MAs, expertise and service-centric approach have made them a key first port of call in FIFA’s bid to support its MAs operationally and strategically in the quest to grow football.

The more than 120 projects assigned to the regional offices for the Americas (as at 31 December 2018) are a testament to the stellar work of their development managers and project coordinators, as well as to the resounding success of the first Forward cycle (2016-2018).

The MAs’ tireless efforts – coupled with the oversight provided by FIFA’s regional offices and the efficient implementation of the Forward Programme – ensure the sound management of the initiatives involved, the constant improvement of all parties concerned and, ultimately, the development of football.

A few figures on the Forward Programme in the Americas (accurate as at 31 December 2018):

  • 124 projects approved

  • 22 MAs have carried out at least one project

  • 38 infrastructure projects

  • 33 competitions funded