SAFF underlines importance of Child Safeguarding at SAFF U17 Women’s Championship!

The SAFF U17 Women’s Championship, which took place from March 20 to 28, 2023, served as an excellent platform for the implementation of child safeguarding measures to ensure a positive and enjoyable football experience for all participants.

With the help of the innovative “Safety Balloon” exercise, the activity saw the participation of footballers from every national team that competed in the tournament.

The programme, which was designed to help players understand different types of abuse and the importance of child safeguarding, first divided the participants into three groups where each group was assigned the task of protecting, popping or observing balloons that had been provided to them.

This allowed players to comprehend the concepts of doing their best to protect victims, identifying those who have no regard for child safeguarding, and those who despite wanting to help, are unsure of the ways in which to lend their support.

The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF) Safeguarding Officer aimed to raise awareness regarding child safeguarding protocols and also educate the participants on how to stand up to any form of abuse.

Through this activity, players gained knowledge regarding their rights and learned of the ways they can work together with parents, team officials, and child safeguarding officers to protect the vulnerable members in their communities.

Safeguarding of children and youth is a key focus area for the AFC, and the SAFF has established a “safeguarding first” approach in the last few years by setting a standard for their youth competitions and is committed to keeping football free from all kinds of abuse, risk, harm, and neglect.

The initiative is an excellent example of the SAFF’s commitment to implement child safeguarding measures to promote the well-being and safety of the region’s footballers.

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