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FIFA Forward Workshop lands in time for Festival

FIFA Forward Governance Workshop participants and presenters with FIFA Legend Wes Brown. Credit: Jerome Brouillet

The FIFA Forward Governance Workshop got underway in Tahiti, French Polynesia this morning with General Secretaries and FIFA Forward Project Managers from across Oceania uniting to learn more about the second implementation of the international body’s most important development programme.

The workshop, running from 8-11 April, is being held alongside the annual Festival des Iles, an event which has received funding through the FIFA Forward Development Programme to assist the Tahiti Football Federation over the past two years.

The FIFA Forward Development Programme was first adopted by the FIFA Council on 9 May 2016 and has become a “step change” for global football development and the way FIFA shares the success of the FIFA World Cup™ with its member associations.

Based on three principles: more investment, more impact and more oversight, the aim is to improve the way football is developed and supported across the globe in order to reach its potential, and give everyone the opportunity to take part without barriers.

Following the successful implementation of the first edition of FIFA Forward 2016-2018, “FIFA Forward 1.0”, the second edition, “FIFA Forward 2.0” came into force on 1 January 2019 and will run until 31 December 2022.

Federation Tahitienne de Football President and OFC Vice-President Thierry Ariiotima expressed the importance of this workshop and the information being shared, for the positive development of football in the region.

“The new governors of OFC, freshly elected in February 2019, want every federation in Oceania to fully master the FIFA Forward programme,” Ariiotima explained.

“We must know how to capitalise on every opportunity available to us in order to grow and strengthen our federations in terms of administration, finance, and technical, while taking into account the uniqueness of each Oceania country.”

Ariiotima stated that each participant has a role to play in creating compelling projects which are backed by their respective executive committees.

“You will be responsible for ensuring the successful completion of these projects, taking into account, of course, the constraints of the programme,” he concluded.

OFC General Secretary Franck Castillo also spoke during the opening ceremony and used the occasion to highlight the measures being taken by OFC and its Member Associations to strengthen their governance structures and align with the reporting requirements.

“We have a new FIFA, a new OFC and with that new modes of funding, new requirements and most importantly, the addition of compliance,” Castillo said.

“All of this leads to new opportunities and new challenges for each of our MAs, and we need to be aware of the steps we must take in order for football to continue developing without avoidable constraints.

“The role of the General Secretary or the CEO, is an important one. You may have good musicians, but if there is no conductor to guide them it will become a cacophony.”

Castillo said the benefits of a workshop like today’s is it encourages attendees to share best practices, identify MA specific needs and to assist OFC and FIFA with capacity building in the Pacific region.

“It’s a first step,” Castillo said.

“We will aim to organise two workshops a year because we consider this too important a topic to let our standards slip.

“Please be open, share your knowledge as well as your concerns and as a family, let’s build a better football that we can all be proud of on the world stage.”

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