The fourth annual FIFA Compliance Summit held in September this year offered a valuable learning opportunity, and a chance to contribute ideas, for the OFC and representatives from Member Associations.

Held in Costa Rica, the theme of the Summit was Beyond Best Practice, inviting participants to look at compliance in a different way and reflect on how to expand best practice policy so that it is embedded as a shared mindset and culture.

The event, which was opened by FIFA President Gianni Infantino, was the first in-person summit held since the start of the pandemic.

It brought together more than 200 representatives from FIFA’s Member Associations, as well as governance and compliance experts from the world of football, to expand on the issues discussed at the previous summit held in 2020.

Across the two-day event, topics such as protecting football from corruption, digital privacy and building trust, were among those discussed.

OFC Acting Head of Legal and Compliance, Farah Mohammed, said it was great to finally be able to meet face-to-face.

“Being able to connect in person with peers in the same field after two years was immeasurable. This event has reconnected our region to the rest of the world and the more we connect, the more we learn and are able to enrich our region,” Mohammed said.

“Whilst compliance is prevalent among many industries, it is often difficult to connect with colleagues who operate in the same area of compliance as we do, especially in the niche area of football.

“I am grateful to FIFA for providing the opportunity to all of the Compliance Officers across the 211 Member Associations.”

In addition to Mohammed, representatives from six OFC Member Associations – Vanuatu Football Federation, Tonga Football Association, Cook Islands Football Association, New Zealand Football, Fiji Football Association and Fédération Tahitienne de Football – also attended the Summit.

FTF chief executive officer Moeama Mu-Grieg said there was plenty to take in from the experts who spoke.

“The most enjoyable part for me was learning more about the top strategies compliance leaders use to influence culture,” Mu-Grieg said.

“Also the shared experiences of the groups, which informed us of their experiences within their respective organisations.”

Mohammed said the summit was also an important step for Member Association staff to feel comfortable reaching out to ask questions or share thoughts.

“I sincerely hope they enjoyed meeting everyone, especially our Oceania compliance team, and that moving forward they will feel more comfortable to reach out and connect with us all more,” she said.

“I am sure they are already focusing on how to implement the ‘Beyond Best Practice’ at their Federations, specifically exploring innovative ways of influencing change at their Federation through compliance.”

Earlier this year, the Heads of Legal and Compliance from all Confederations met with the FIFA Compliance team to discuss the compliance practices at each Confederation, as well as contribute towards the topics to be discussed at the Summit.