Thursday 16 March 2023, 19:15

2023-2027: FIFA President lays out objectives for the future

  • Gianni Infantino re-elected FIFA President for second term and sets out agenda for next four years

  • Mr Infantino commits his pledges for the future development of the global game

  • The pledges were made at the 73rd FIFA Congress in Kigali, Rwanda

Upon re-election to serve a second term as FIFA President Gianni Infantino took to the stage at the 73rd FIFA Congress to thank the assembled member associations for their continued support, and made 11 pledges for the future to ensure the continued growth of the global game. In the address to representatives of the FIFA member associations gathered at the BK Arena in Kigali, President Infantino laid out the key areas of development – on and off the pitch – that FIFA will achieve over the next four years.

1. Best FIFA Women’s World Cup™ In July and August 2023, 32 nations from across the globe will compete at the FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand™ – more countries than ever before. The increase from 24 to 32 teams provides a unique opportunity for more women to compete on the global stage. In his closing remarks, President Infantino also pledged prize money funding for the tournament of over USD 150 million; three times as much as at the 2019 edition, and a tenfold increase on that awarded in 2015. “It's a women's year,” the FIFA President said. “A celebration of football, a celebration of women's football, a celebration of progress, a celebration of equality. A feast for everyone. It will not be tarnished by any other topic. Today, embarking on a historic journey for women's football and for equality. This will lead us on a path to equal pay.”

FIFA Women's World Cup 2023 Total Compensation

2. Most inclusive FIFA World Cup™ ever In 2026, the FIFA World Cup™ will expand from 32 to 48 nations – once again allowing for more opportunities for fans and more chances to shine on the global stage for member associations from every corner of the world. “We will, of course, organise the greatest FIFA World Cup ever in 2026, also because we move from 32 to 48 teams, and from 64 to 104 matches, but also because this will be the most inclusive World Cup ever, and we want to be, and we have to be, inclusive,” the FIFA President added. ”Of course, you, the Congress, will have the right and the duty to decide on the hosts of future men’s and women’s World Cups in the coming year. So, it’s a big responsibility for FIFA, for you, for the world.”

3. Brand new FIFA Club World Cup™ The FIFA President also referenced the expanded FIFA Club World Cup™, which will begin in June 2025, allowing for a truly global contest, with more meaningful matches, between the best clubs from every continent.

4. Introduction of the FIFA World Series President Infantino promised more opportunities for growth by means of the organisation and financial support for more tournaments across – and between – teams from all six confederations, including the possibility of a FIFA World Series. “We will organise this FIFA World Series for those teams who want it – four teams from four different confederations who can join and play together and encounter each other, to create communities from all over the world,” said the FIFA President. “And as FIFA, we have a duty, as well, to assist and help all those who ask us for it.” 5. A FIFA World Cup™ every year for U-17s To provide the best talent with the best opportunities, FIFA President Gianni Infantino committed to organising an annual FIFA U-17 World Cup™, for men and women, thereby providing more game time against global opposition for the best young players around the world; by doing so young players will be provided with the best possible chances to develop and fulfil their potential.

6. Continued full commitment to good governance and transparency Good governance also formed a critical part of President Infantino’s pledges for his next term. On the subject of global transfer fees, and the continued commitment to financial sustainability across the football pyramid, the FIFA President raised the prospect of enhancing the current transfer system and investigating the feasibility of a cap on transfer fees.

7. Hit new revenue records The projected revenues of USD 11 billion for the next four-year cycle represent a significant increase compared to the previous cycle of USD 7.5 billion, with the funds to be distributed for global football development projects across the world, continuing President Infantino’s vision to make football truly global. 8. Forward 3.0 The increased projected revenues allow for a substantial rise in the funding to be allocated to each member association – with the next cycle promising a sevenfold increase in global football development investment, compared to the period before President Infantino was elected. “Today, the FIFA reserves are at almost USD 4 billion, which means we have even more money that we can inject and invest in football, because FIFA’s money is your money,” the FIFA President said. “It is for football and football development.”

9. Continue to innovate on and off the pitch Mr Infantino also pledged to make technology more accessible to all member associations – including introducing a programme to allow for the universal implementation of video assistant referees (VAR), across the global game. “We have been introducing VAR now in over 100 countries around the world,” the FIFA President said. “We will be introducing VAR Light with around four cameras to allow those who have less means to have VAR. We are (also) working on a last level with at least one camera to have a small video help for the referee. We tested it in the (FIFA) Futsal World Cup, and it works. It works. And we will continue to test it to really give everyone in the 211 (member) associations the possibility to have some technological help for the referee because it is very, very difficult to be a referee at every level, of course.”

In relation to eSports, the President also pledged the global governing body would remain at the forefront of the marketplace. Gianni Infantino: “eFootball is part of football, it’s part of the future, and be sure of one thing: the new FIFA, not the new FIFA institution, but the new FIFA game, the FIFA 25, 26, 27, 28 and so on, will always be the best eGame, and the best experience for any young girl and young boy who loves gaming.” 10. Talent Development Scheme The FIFA President reaffirmed his and FIFA’s commitment to back Arsène Wenger’s Talent Development Scheme – to give every talent a chance – which will see an investment of USD 200 million over the next four years.

11. Renewed commitment to social responsibility and global challenges Using the power of football to influence positive social change and development across the world also forms a key part of President Infantino’s administration. He committed to ensuring FIFA continues to harness the reach and influence of the global game to help improve the lives of individuals and communities across all FIFA member associations. “We are a football organisation: we have to organise competitions, we have to develop football, but we have a responsibility as well,” the FIFA President said “We have a responsibility to help tackle global challenges, and we will continue to do that. Whether we speak about climate, whether we speak about human rights, whether we speak about diseases or disabilities, about anything. We’ll play our part in the team, in respect of the fact that we are 211 countries, representing the entire world.”