Wednesday 10 January 2018, 14:22

FIFA, Council of Europe establish partnership

  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino visited the Council of Europe on 10 January

  • FIFA and Council of Europe to work toward Memorandum of Understanding

  • New partnership fits into the FIFA 2.0 Vision for the Future

FIFA President Gianni Infantino and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland met today in Strasbourg to discuss how to better promote human rights in sports. The meeting followed an exchange of views between the FIFA President and the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.

Jagland and Infantino underlined the importance of the Council of Europe’s sports conventions in protecting human rights in sport – in particular the conventions on anti-doping, match-fixing and on safety, security and service at football matches.

The FIFA President stressed to the gathered representatives that FIFA’s Statutes, which were confirmed almost two years ago, have allowed for greater reform, transparency and accountability at the governing body. He also laid out the work that the organisation has done to achieve a number of larger goals, from increasing gender diversity to facilitating dialogue with football’s various stakeholders and more.

Significantly, the two organisations agreed to start working on a Memorandum of Understanding between FIFA and the Council of Europe, which should set out in detail the areas of cooperation between the two organisations. The aim is to have the Memorandum of Understanding ready for signature by the end of 2018.

What they said “It seems clear to me that FIFA and the Council of Europe share many common goals. Good governance, respect for human rights and a resolute stance against doping, match-fixing and violence are a top priority for world football’s governing body.” - FIFA President Gianni Infantino

“Our sports conventions reach beyond Europe and many other countries have expressed interest in joining them. Closer cooperation with FIFA will help to promote respect for human rights in sports both in Europe and worldwide. I am also pleased that FIFA wants to work with us on the subject of governance. The role of sports in our society ­– for example, in boosting integration – cannot be underestimated. Good governance will help ensuring that the benefits of sport can be enjoyed by everyone.” - Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland