Both institutions promote women’s football
FIFA and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) today signed a landmark agreement, three days before the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ kicks off in France, that will see the two organisations work together to create positive change in society and communities through football.
Signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFD CEO Remy Rioux at a special ceremony at the Élysée Palace, the agreement aims to develop collaboration between FIFA and AFD for the implementation of various social projects related to football, including the development of women’s football and the Football for Schools Programme. FIFA and the AFD will be partners and cooperate on joint projects in Africa with two main objectives:
Gender equality and women’s empowerment
President Macron has said that equality between women and men is the great national objective of his five-year term. The AFD has a strategic objective called a “100% social link”, in particular through the inclusion of women and the fight against gender inequality. In terms of empowerment, the AFD will promote women’s participation in sport and partner with FIFA to implement FIFA’s new strategy for women’s football.
FIFA’s 2016-2026 road map, “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, sets out several tangible and measurable goals for the development of football, among which is a commitment to significantly raise the number of women and girls playing football, up to 60 million. As part of its new vision, FIFA adopted a strategy for women’s football in October 2018 with the aim of developing the women’s game and using football as a powerful unifying factor and tool to bring about positive societal change, to fight inequality and to empower girls and women around the world.
Education through football
School is “where we build the society we need and want to see” (President Macron at the opening of a preschool assembly). In this respect, sport is a vehicle for keeping or bringing young people back into the education system, fostering interculturalism and solidarity and transmitting fundamental values to build a world of peace, equality and respect.
FIFA, through its Football for Schools Programme, aims to reach over 700 million girls and boys around the world and invest USD 120 million over the next four years with the overall objective of making football more accessible to children everywhere and contributing to their education, social development and empowerment.
FIFA and the AFD will combine resources and implement joint programmes to promote football as a sport for all, socio-educational projects and equality in football, as well as invest in local infrastructure. These initiatives will run alongside existing programmes being carried out by the AFD as well as ongoing projects in member associations as part of the FIFA Forward development programme and the FIFA Football for Schools Programme.
FIFA President Gianni Infantino said: “I am happy that today, another strategic alliance has been forged to help use football as a platform for positive change in society. This landmark agreement between FIFA and the AFD aims to make a lasting difference to communities around the world, as well as ensure that football continues to play an even more important role in sustainable development, educating and empowering the next generation to help build a fairer, more peaceful society.”
AFD CEO Remy Rioux said: “What better way to build a world in common than by leveraging the unifying power of football? Sport is at the crossroads of all Sustainable Development Goals – including economic growth, women’s empowerment and access to education – yet the worlds of football and development finance have not been linked until now. I am therefore extremely proud that the AFD and FIFA are today launching a unique partnership to promote gender equality and foster education in Africa through football. As theWomen’s World Cup is about to kick off in France, I am confident that the AFD-FIFA alliance will help to showcase women’s sport as a strategic development objective in Africa. This compelling agreement is already paving the way for inventive solutions on the ground such as “playdagogy” projects designed to ensure that young Africans will not only benefit from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, but also become key advocates of SDGs”.
About the French Development Agency
The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) funds, supports and accelerates transitions to a fairer and more sustainable world.
Focusing on the climate, biodiversity, peace, education, urban development, health and governance, its teams carry out more than 4,000 projects in France’s overseas departments and territories and 115 other countries. In this way, it contributes to the commitment of France and the French people to support the Sustainable Development Goals.
The Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA), based in Zurich, Switzerland, is an international, non-governmental and non-profit organisation, established as an association under Swiss law. FIFA is made up of 211 national associations, affiliated to six confederations. One of FIFA’s statutory objectives is to improve the game of football constantly and to promote it globally in light of its unifying, educational, cultural and humanitarian values, particularly through youth and development programmes.
Through the FIFA Forward development programme, FIFA invested over USD 1 billion in football development between 2016 and 2018, and by 2022, it will have invested almost USD 3 billion in football development initiatives that change the lives of people around the globe.
FIFA Forward Football Development Programme
The FIFA Forward Development Programme was first adopted by the FIFA Congress in 9 May 2016 and it was to become not only a “step change” for global football development and the way we share the success of the FIFA World Cup™ with our member associations, but also one of the most prominent sports’ development programmes.
FIFA Forward is built to provide 360-degree, tailor-made support for football development in each of our member associations and the six confederations and is based on three principles: more investment, more impact, more oversight.
The aim is to improve the way we develop and support football across the globe so that football can reach its potential in every single country, and so that everyone that wants to take part can do so without barriers.
Following the successful implementation of the first edition of the FIFA Forward Development Programme 2016-2018, “FIFA Forward 1.0”, the second edition, “FIFA Forward 2.0” came into force on 1 January 2019 and will run until 31 December 2022.
FIFA Forward 1.0 achieved some impressive development results with member associations having been supported financially both in their daily operations but also in setting new strategic long-term goals and by implementing tailor-made development projects to provide football infrastructure, competitions and to promote and advance women’s football. More than half of FIFA’s member associations, those with more limited financial capacity, were able to properly equip their youth and women’s national teams and to participate in numerous international competitions and tournaments with the support of Forward solidarity funding for travel and equipment needs.
On 13 June 2018, the FIFA Congress decided to increase the investement in FIFA Forward even further for the next cycle, 2019-2022, with a 20% increase in the annual entitlement for each of the 211 member associations and the six confederations.
In addition, FIFA’s member associations were able to provide their feedback at the 12 FIFA Executive Football Summits which took place between November 2017 and March 2018. The experiences and the learnings of the members and the FIFA administration in the two and a half years in which FIFA Forward has been in operation, coupled with consultation with the relevant FIFA committees, led to the adoption of an amended set of regulations, which were approved and adopted by the FIFA Council at its meeting in Kigali on 26 October 2018 – the FIFA Forward Development Programme Regulations 2.0.
The core principles, approach and procedures of FIFA Forward 1.0 largely remain intact, whilst certain elements have been adapted to reflect the increase in the member associations’ entitlements and the needs for greater football development and reporting on the programme achievements and its legacy and impact.
The most prominent Forward 2.0 amendments for the 2019-2022 cycle are as follows:
A. Financial entitlements
1) An investment of USD 6,000,000 per member association for the four-year cycle to support operational needs and development projects whilst an additional USD 1,000,000 is allocated to those member associations with an annual revenue of USD 4 million or less in order to support their travel and equipment needs.
a) Up to USD 1,000,000 per year for operational/running costs:
i) USD 500,000 released in January each year for day-to-day activities, administration and running costs.
ii) Up to USD 500,000 paid in July each year, provided that the member association fulfils up to ten specific activities during the year (USD 50,000 per activity). These activities include:
(1) organising men’s, women’s and youth competitions (two age groups for both girls and boys) – each competition should involve at least ten clubs for at least 90 matches and for at least six months each year;
(2) having active men’s, women’s and youth national teams – each one participating in at least four matches per year;
(3) having a functioning and regularly updated IT player registration and competition management system (provided free of charge by FIFA if needed); and
(4) having men’s and women’s refereeing programmes.
b) USD 2,000,000 over the period of the whole 2019-2022 cycle for projects tailored according to the member association’s approved contract of agreed objectives, and in particular relating to football infrastructure (e.g. pitches, technical centres, training grounds, stadiums and headquarters)
i) Projects may include other development areas provided that the member association has at least one stadium/pitch allowing international matches to be played, suitable association headquarters, and a functioning technical centre.
c) Up to USD 200,000 per year for travel and accommodation, and up to USD 200,000 per four-year cycle for football equipment for those member associations needing the most assistance:
i) A member association is identified as needing the most assistance provided that its annual revenue does not exceed USD 4 million (reflected in the annual statutory audit report of the previous year and submitted to FIFA by 30 June each year).
2) Up to USD 1,000,000 for zonal/regional associations will be released to the respective confederations in January of each year provided that the zonal/regional association is recognised by the confederation and organises at least one women’s, two boys’ and two girls’ competitions (for national teams or clubs).
3) USD 12 million for each confederation per year, with the funds automatically released in two biannual payments in January and July each year.
B. Reporting and auditing
FIFA Forward 1.0 introduced enhanced oversight controls to ensure that the investment in football development is transparent, carefully managed and effective.
One contract of agreed objectives per association, setting the strategy for development over two to four years, approved by the Development Committee
All tailor-made projects must be linked to the approved contract of agreed objectives
Any project above USD 300,000 to be approved by the Development Committee
FIFA administration to monitor the implementation of projects and their legacy and impact
Independent financial audits of Forward funds for each association
Enhanced development regulations, including greater powers of oversight and tougher compliance measures
Publication of independent audits of member associations’ annual finances
Under FIFA Forward 2.0. member associations shall:
a. Ensure that the principles of anti-discrimination, diversity, accessibility and inclusion, and human rights for all are protected and promoted
b. Take measures to protect and safeguard children and minors from potential abuses and to promote their wellbeing within football
c. Avoid any situation giving rise to a conflict of interests
d. Avoid the usage of cash
e. Maintain all supporting documentation for all expenditures and payments made with FIFA Forward funds
f. Use the FIFA funds exclusively for the purposes allocated
g. Use contributions and funds allocated under Forward 1.0 by 31 December 2020. Any funds not used according to purpose shall be deducted from the entitlement of the 2019-2022 cycle
Through FIFA Forward, FIFA is committed to supporting and advancing sustainable development together with its members, whilst promoting and enshrining the principles of equality, diversity and safety with investments in accessible and inclusive facilities for all in football stadiums, pitches and technical centres globally, giving the opportunity to millions of young girls and boys to participate in the experience of LIVING FOOTBALL.