FIFA President Gianni Infantino stressed the importance of raising the standards of club administration globally as he addressed 40 participants at a session of the second FIFA Diploma in Club Management course, saying it was key to improving competitive balance.
“Clubs need to be performing at better and better standards, because it is true that there is a gap between a few countries in Europe — not even the whole of Europe, but a few countries — and the rest of the world,” he said in a video address to the session in New York. “That´s why I am happy that you are representing the entire world.”
“What we need to do is to close the gap, not by bringing these big Europeans down, because these big Europeans also need to continue to grow. But the rest of the world has to grow as well and ensure we have a more competitive football world out there.”
The Diploma in Club Management aims to provide club executives and former international players from all around the world with the latest practical know-how and insights from the industry. Forty participants for all confederations have joined the second edition of the 12-month programme, including football greats Carli Lloyd, Tim Cahill, Fernandinho, John Terry and Juan Mata.
The FIFA President said it was crucial that club administrators were aware of issues such as calendars, competition, training of talents and transfer regulations, and had an understanding of global football . “It is important for everyone involved to understand the interests of the world,” he said, adding that he also welcomed their feedback. “This is part of making football truly global.”
The FIFA President re-emphasised that he wants to work towards a future where at least 50 clubs from all over the world are good enough to win a potential Club World Cup.
“Now, 20 of these clubs will be European and that is fine, but the other 30 have to be from the five other continents and that will be fantastic,” he said.
One of the many attractions of the course is the high profile of both the speakers, including top executives from around the world, and the participants, among them a number of active and former players who will be given the tools and knowledge needed to run a successful football club.
The latter include Tim Cahill, who scored for Australia at three World Cups, and Fernandinho, whose many honours include eleven domestic league titles, in Ukraine and England.
“This has really opened my eyes to the football world,” said Tim Cahill. “Being with FIFA has allowed me to travel to different federations to see how they work, how global football is.”
Fernandinho added: “I am very excited about concluding this course and learning more and more, to put into practice in the future when I became an ex-player. As the President said, we have to try to make football even more global.”