Photo Credit: FIFA

Tahiti will next week host the 13th edition of the Festival des îles and FIFA is proud to enable the Polynesian football family to come together with the support of the FIFA Forward programme.

Since 2016 and the introduction of FIFA Forward, the Tahitian Football Association (FTF) has used part of its Forward entitlement to organise the festival, which also serves as a platform for the FTF Technical Department to scout talents from the outer islands.

Last year, the FIFA President took part in the inauguration of a new artificial pitch, funded by the FIFA Forward programme, at the FTF headquarters in Pirae, where the festival will be played.

The Festival has become the most popular football event in Polynesia and representative of the various cultures of its archipelagos. This sporting and cultural event brings thousands of participants together, with 60% of players coming from islands outside of the main islands of Tahiti. Over the course of a week, all teams compete in various tournaments: 11-a-side football, as well as futsal and beach soccer. 

Over the first two cycles of the FIFA Forward Development Programme from 2016-22, approximately USD 2.8 billion was made available for investment in our 211-member associations, as well as in the six confederations and the various zonal/regional associations, to significantly bolster football development in their territories.

Last week, the FIFA Council unanimously approved the Annual Report 2023, which confirms a record investment in football development of USD 2.25 billion earmarked for the 2023-2026 cycle as part of the FIFA Forward 3.0 Programme. This represents an almost sevenfold increase in football development investment compared to the development programmes in place prior to 2016.

As part of FIFA Forward 3.0, the Tahitian Football Association and every member association will be allocated USD 8m each for football development projects over the four year cycle.

“Thanks to its solid financial governance, FIFA is well on track to exceed its budgetary target of USD 11 billion for the 2023-2026 cycle,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino, following the FIFA Council meeting.

“This means that we will be able to deliver more tailored services for our 211 member associations to assist them in realising their development and education projects and taking football to the next level.”

Around the world, between 2016 and 2022, more than 1,600 projects with a long-term impact on football development were approved. Approximatively a third (524) of these projects were related to football infrastructure, including a significant number that focused on technical centres and stadiums, where skills are honed, and football inspires all. Furthermore, 208 projects for new or revamped competitions offered playing opportunities for more than 300,000 male and female players worldwide.