Wednesday 27 February 2019, 15:59

FIFA Executive Football Summits 2018/19 conclude in Rome

The FIFA logo is seen outside the FIFA headquarters 
  • FIFA Executive Football Summits conclude in Rome, Italy

  • 64 Member Associations, several FIFA Council members and Confederations exchanged views on football strategic matters

  • FIFA President Gianni Infantino discussed plans for new competitions, FIFA Forward 2.0, women’s football, VAR and more

Following on from the successful events in Doha (11-13 December 2018), Marrakech (15-17 January) and Istanbul (13-15 February), the FIFA Executive Football Summits 2018/19 concluded in Rome this week. In total, 208 Member Associations (MAs) took part across 12 summits.

FIFA President Gianni Infantino underlined that the FIFA Executive Football Summits have become an essential component of a democratic and transparent FIFA. The FIFA Executive Football Summits are an important exchange platform to discuss strategic football matters and to share best practices between MA executives in an open and constructive atmosphere.

"FIFA is listening to those who organise football in their countries every day. Every Member Association has a voice and we work together to grow football on every corner of the globe," said President Infantino.

The main discussions during the summits in Rome were on the future of FIFA competitions, FIFA Forward 2.0, women’s football and Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

"The continuous dialogue with all our Member Associations is to better understand their needs and learn from their very diverse experiences, which is crucial for our work. The Member Associations are part of the discussions and democratic decision-making process and that means greater transparency and understanding," the FIFA President said.

The event in Rome was - like the others before - about exchanges, discussions and debates.

"We are deciding together, we are working together for the future of football," said Infantino, before delegates aired their views on the summit’s key issues in a series of group meetings.

Temporarily splitting the participants into smaller groups gave each MA more opportunities to have their say and express their opinions in detail. Topics included plans for new competitions, in particular a Nations League at worldwide level, and the new format of the FIFA Club World Cup. The participants could discuss and express their opinions openly in the plenary session or during the group discussions.

The new FIFA Forward Football Development Programme regulations, which are the result of an extensive consultation process, including last years’ FIFA Executive Football Summits, were presented to the participants.

With the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup France™ ahead, it was the ideal moment to present FIFA’s strategy for an increased promotion of the women’s game worldwide and to support MAs to also do so in their respective countries.

Finally, the successful implementation of the VAR system at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ was presented.

“We are proud of the results. Our referees performed well and the work with the technology was very good," said Pierluigi Collina, former Elite Top Referee and today’s Chairman of the FIFA Referees Committee.

After the success of the VAR system at the FIFA World Cup, MAs across the globe have been expressing a huge interest to use the technology in their competitions. After the concluding FIFA Executive Football Summits in Rome, the FIFA administration will submit its report to the FIFA Council meeting in March.