Photo Credit OFC Media -Andres Portobella with OFC Clubs and Leagues Manager Steven Dillon

FIFA Consultant Andres Portabella was a special guest at OFC’s Home of Football Te Kahu o Kiwa this week in Auckland, New Zealand. 

Following on from a successful online OFC Learn event with participants from many countries across the Pacific Region, Andres met with several OFC Staff in Auckland to discuss Club Licensing and how this can continue to support Member Associations across the region. 

The latest workshop was run by OFC’s Clubs and Leagues Manager Steven Dillon who provided an update on FIFA Club Development Programmes, an update on the FIFA Guide to Club Licensing for Women’s Football, and a Member Association Progress Update, highlighting the progress in many countries from across the region who are striving to develop their clubs and league systems. 

Portabella spoke about FIFA’s wide-ranging support for Clubs and Leagues in our Member Associations and how it can relate to all aspects of the business including, men’s and women’s national leagues, sporting, legal, social responsibility, and grassroots, as well as many other related areas of the game. 

 “It’s so important for me to work in both men’s and women’s football, I believe that all of us should be doing that on a regular basis. I’m privileged to be able to work across the board in both men’s and women’s football. My specific role in regard to women’s football is to assist in the Women’s Club licensing programmes,” Portabella said. 

The Sydney based FIFA consultant is currently working with 36 Member Associations around the world on their Women’s Club Licensing programmes and recently spent time in Suva with the Fiji Football Association at a FIFA Club Licensing workshop. 

“Having the opportunity to participate in the Fiji FA Women’s Club Licensing seminar was fantastic. The Federation is impressive. They are doing a fantastic job on the ground with clubs and developing women’s football on a daily basis.  The clubs came together, and we had a fantastic exchange. The future of the Fiji FA and of the Fiji Women’s League is quite bright. We hope the Women’s Club licensing system will help them take the next steps to take their clubs to the next level.

“They’re already doing a very good job and we believe this system can guide them to improve even more the way they operate daily. So hopefully we continue to see a lot of youth development in Fiji and the league hopefully starts to take off even more there,”  Portabella said.

Portobella believes the FIFA Guide to Club Licensing for Women’s Football will help Member Associations in developing Clubs and Leagues in their countries.  

“The FIFA Guide to Club Licensing for Women’s Football is really a centralised location where any Member Association can look and use it as a tool to implement club licensing in a proper way. It has 18 steps and if you’re able to follow those 18 steps as a Member Association, you can properly set up the system and implement it on a yearly basis. We hope it’s a tool the Federations can use across the Confederation to either improve or to set up the Women’s Club licensing system in the near future. “

Portabella offered some advice for people wanting to know more about the work in FIFA Club Licensing and where they can go for information.  

“The big advice I will give Members Associations is to take advantage of the FIFA Women’s Development programmes that are available today. There’s eight of them very specific to each member Association and for the Women’s Club licensing side. I really encourage them to take a look at the FIFA website. Check out all the resources that are available there and hopefully apply to all the programs that FIFA puts available for each Member Association as well as all the OFC programmes that are available for the Federations in today’s landscape.” 

Portabella also took time to reflect on the recent FIFA Women’s World Cup which was jointly hosted by New Zealand and Australia. 

“Definitely without any doubt, the FIFA Women’s World Cup this year was the best tournament ever. We broke all the records. The fans showed up in impressive numbers. You saw people from all over the world join the party. The players showed us that they are some of the best athletes in the world. They put a show on the pitch and we really couldn’t have hoped for a better result. So the football was incredible, the fans were fantastic and the venues were spectacular. This tournament took place in Oceania. 

“Everyone in this region had the opportunity to watch the best football in the world at the best times. I know in this region, you have to wake up many times very early to watch football. But this tournament provided the opportunity for everyone to watch, at the best possible time. So I really believe the impact will be tremendous,” Portabella beamed. 

To access the recent OFC Learn workshop, please click here: 

To access more information on the FIFA Women’s Development Programmes, please click here: 

For more information on FIFA Club Licensing, please click here: