Sunday , June 4 2023

Americas member associations preparing for FIFA Forward 3.0!

FIFA has just held two Forward 3.0 Programme workshops for member associations in South America and Spanish-speaking nations in the CONCACAF zone. Ecuador hosted the CONMEBOL workshop on 11 and 12 May and Panama the other on May 15/16.

Both events began with a welcome message from FIFA President Gianni Infantino and continued with presentations by members of the Member Associations Americas Subdivision. Also taking part were the Women’s Football and Technical Development divisions, who were gathering information on the ongoing programmes to aid the growth of the game in every participating country.

At the end of the first day, participants were split up into work groups to share their views on the shared challenges posed by the FIFA Forward Programme and to present practical proposals for making it more effective. The ideas put forward by the member associations with the aim of increasing FIFA support in key areas of the programme were extremely valuable. Bilateral meetings were held on day two of the events.

“It was an ideal opportunity for us to engage with member associations looking to embark on the Forward 3.0 cycle,” said Jair Bertoni, FIFA Director Member Associations Americas. “We met with their general secretaries, FIFA Forward Programme heads and finance directors to discuss key aspects of the new regulations, clear up some questions about the various lines of support provided through the programme, and learn and talk about development priorities in each territory.

“The workshops were vital in assessing the current status with regard to Forward at each member association,” added Bertoni. “They gave us the chance to jointly review investments in projects being implemented and planned as well as deliverables for the 2023-26 period, focusing in particular on the hugely important objectives to be achieved through football development projects. Finally, we conducted a preliminary assessment of the compliance of the 11 conditions for accessing the 2024 operational budget. In short, they were really productive gatherings that have yielded specific outcomes and laid the foundations for the efficient management of Forward 3.0.”

The vision of the South American MAs

The Ecuador workshop took place at the headquarters of the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) in Guayaquil.

Luis Gimenez, director of development at the Venezuelan Football Association (FVF), said “These introductory meetings are very useful because of all the information you get but also because there’s more space for participating in them. You can compare success stories and that’s so useful.”

Giving his view on the new 3.0 cycle, which provides for a 30% increase in funding, Gimenez said: “Changes have been made to the regulations based on past consultations with us, and it’s great to see them in there. It’s important to feel listened to because you know they’re working with you in mind and it motivates you. It’s just another sign that FIFA are serious about developing football.”

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