FIFA President Gianni Infantino has today unveiled “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future” – the first time in FIFA’s history that it has published a roadmap for how to most effectively grow the game, enhance the experience and build a stronger institution.
“We live in a time that presents us with a wealth of opportunities to make the beautiful game bigger, better and more meaningful to the world,” said Infantino during the FIFA Council meeting at the Home of FIFA. “Our vision – to promote the game, protect its integrity and bring the game to all – will set the path forward for our work.”
“A three-part strategy supports this vision,” said the FIFA President. “We will invest in the game, its players and its future; we will innovate to improve the player and fan experience; and we will take greater ownership of the business operations for our showcase events. This will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the game and its billions of fans.”
President Infantino said the work planned under the new vision demonstrates the far-reaching nature of the change underway at FIFA. As part of this work, FIFA will:
• Invest USD 4 billion over the next decade in football development through FIFA’s 211 member associations under the FIFA Forward Programme and additional funding initiatives.
• Increase total participation in football – players, coaches, referees and fans – from 45 to 60 percent of the global population.
• Set the goal of doubling, to 60 million, the number of female football players worldwide by 2026 through the development and execution of a strategy to bring women’s football to the mainstream.
• Change the current model to take more direct control of critical business operations, including FIFA World Cup ticketing and FIFA World Cup organising activities, and establish working groups to evaluate the process of bringing the operations in house, to better ensure optimal financial returns and customer satisfaction, as well as the highest standards of transparency and good governance.
Speaking at the launch of the vision, FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura said that the administration is eager to work with the football community on the restructuring of football and FIFA.
“This is a living document, and we look forward to engaging with the member associations, the confederations, our commercial affiliates and other stakeholders as we continue our work to fulfil our mission,” said the Secretary General. “With the organisational improvements we have made and the reforms we are implementing, FIFA is a stronger institution today than it was a year ago – and it will be even stronger a year from now. This vision will further energise the FIFA administration as we plan for the future.”
President Infantino laid out a number of actions that will be taken to achieve FIFA’s three key objectives:
Grow the game:
• That as part of the USD 4 billion budgeted for the FIFA Forward Development Programme, FIFA will provide its member associations with more than USD 100 million on an annual basis to professionalise football administration, which will include critical investment in governance, compliance and operations to ensure best-in-class efficiency and performance.
• Over the next decade, FIFA will commit up to USD 315 million for member associations to incentivise investment in the development of the women’s game, including funds for the successful organisation of girls’ leagues, womens’ professional leagues, and the creation of a development strategy for the women’s game. This is in addition to the resources committed through the new and fully developed Women’s Football Division.
• FIFA will work with the confederations on club licensing, a set of minimum operational standards in key areas such as stadium safety and youth development, all ultimately focused on helping grow and professionalise club football around the world.
Enhance the experience:
• FIFA will change the ticketing operations for FIFA competitions as a means of developing closer relationships with the fans, ensuring the quality of the fan’s ticketing experience, and realising the full potential of the gate revenues associated with FIFA’s showcase competitions. FIFA will either bring the operations in house or establish a new ticketing subsidiary that will be under FIFA’s control, fundamentally changing how ticketing has historically been managed. FIFA has today created a working group to consider the most efficient and effective structure ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
• FIFA will work to implement a new, more efficient operating model for the organisation’s highest-profile event, the FIFA World Cup, moving from a local organising committee (LOC) managed by different in-country staff for each FIFA World Cup, to a centralised management operating structure. A working group has been established to liaise with all stakeholders and the group’s recommendations will be applied as of the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
• As part of this work, FIFA will also reassess the current World Cup bidding process and recommend concrete changes, building upon recent improvements in the process, to ensure an efficient and transparent bidding competition featuring sound technical analyses and open engagement with the relevant stakeholders.
• FIFA will study the concept of a “FIFA venture fund” and determine the best path forward related to potential investments in emerging technologies central to the future of the game. These technologies would impact on FIFA’s delivery of its world-class competitions and the overall football experience – both on and off the pitch – for all stakeholders, including players, fans, referees, coaches and commercial affiliates. These investments will likely centre on technology, media, data, player safety and broadcast content, as well as other opportunities. Working more closely with the venture capital community will also create a more entrepreneurial mindset at FIFA and provide career and staff development opportunities.
• FIFA has established a team to develop a comprehensive mobile and digital strategy designed to better engage FIFA’s stakeholders. The work will build upon FIFA’s established platforms, including the FIFA app, which was downloaded 30 million times around the FIFA World Cup 2014. This team has begun:
o Creating a “Fan Interaction Management” system designed to enhance the relationship between FIFA and football supporters and allow FIFA to communicate with, learn from and listen to fans.
o Modernising the FIFA app to improve the football experience, not only for fans who experience football inside and outside the stadium and at home, but also for commercial affiliates that seek new means of further promoting their brand through football.
o Working with FIFA’s business partners to leverage technological advances in the distribution of digital content to bring more football to more fans on more devices in more locations.
• FIFA will increase its role in the exploding eSports market, which in 2015 generated revenues of almost USD 1 billion, and work to capture a greater share of that market by better leveraging the popularity of the FIFA video game and the FIFA Interactive World Cup. The administration will establish a dedicated team to explore opportunities and develop a business strategy that ensures FIFA is responsive to current trends and able to quickly adapt to developing trends in the eSports industry.
Build a stronger institution:
• That it will study the creation of an “Impact Investment Fund”, working with other stakeholders, leading financial institutions and global development banks, on ways to potentially deploy capital that can be invested in infrastructure and support other financing needs of member associations and the confederations. In doing so, FIFA will be taking advantage of an emerging investment trend that focuses on creating positive social change, while working to generate sustainable financial returns for investors. This concept will be a topic of discussion during upcoming gatherings with the member associations.
• Widening the scope of its engagement around the globe, FIFA will create 11regional offices in key locations by 2018. Doing so will enable the organisation to be more responsive to the needs of its member associations and will also improve FIFA’s ability to monitor the implementation of the FIFA Forward Development Programme.
• The breadth and impact of FIFA’s global operations creates a duty to preserve the inherent dignity and equal rights of each and every individual affected by FIFA’s activities. Proactively responding to this obligation, FIFA will convene a gathering of all relevant stakeholders in 2017 to discuss the important matters of human rights and gender equality and the role that FIFA will play in the preservation of these basic rights.
FIFA’s new leadership has made significant progress in changing the organisation during the past eight months, laying the groundwork necessary to achieve the vision. As part of this work, FIFA has made senior-level appointments to key positions related to reform goals, and addressed governance and financial issues in five areas:FIFA World Cup ticketing, the FIFA World Cup Local Organising Committee structure, the bidding process for the FIFA World Cup, commercial contracts and the distribution of funds to the member associations.
Additionally, the FIFA administration has taken steps to address issues regarding salaries and compensation, and administration expenses generally. This involves ongoing forensic and financial audits, the development of clear and transparent budget and accounting processes, systematic tenders for all service providers, and systematic checks for conflicts of interest.
“No international sports governing body is better positioned to organise world-class competitions, galvanise supporters globally and deploy resources for maximum impact. And FIFA is on the right path to building an organisation that will set the standards for others to follow,” said the FIFA President.
President Infantino will convene a series of meetings with member associations, the confederations and other stakeholders during the next several weeks and months, during which he will discuss FIFA 2.0 with the leaders of the international football community.
“It is essential that a broad spectrum of stakeholders participate in our discussions of this important topic – and that we at FIFA are optimally informed and supported as we look to the future,” he said.
Story courtesy of FIFA. For more on the world game visit www.fifa.com