Following on from the approval of the amended development regulations by the FIFA Executive Committee in March 2013, FIFA is set to engage its member associations in a landmark consultation process with the first of a series of 11 development seminars starting on Saturday 14 September 2013, in Auckland.

“We would like to listen to our member associations. They are the ones who have the needs and we are working for them,” says FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke who is set to attend the event in Auckland.

In addition, the seminars are meant to become a key platform in order for FIFA and its member associations to continue the dialogue on football governance reforms that started at the 2011 FIFA Congress

“If reforms are not implemented at the level of the member associations, nothing will change within the world of football. All what we have done can be summarised in two words: transparency and compliance. All of this needs to be done at the level of the member associations.”

The planning, implementation and prioritisation of FIFA’s development projects in light of the amended development regulations will be at the core of the three-day meeting in Auckland that will gather the Presidents, General Secretaries and Technical Directors from all OFC member associations. Further events in all confederations are scheduled to take place until spring 2014. While FIFA’s amended regulations entered into force as of 1 July 2013, the seminars will assist member associations in the implementation process ahead of 1 January 2015 which is when all provisions will be mandatory.

Over the past 14 years, FIFA has provided its member associations and the confederations with close to USD 2 billion in development funds. During the same period, an overall investment of USD 88.3 million has been made by FIFA in the OFC region.

FIFA’s development budget for the 2011-2014 financial cycle amounts to USD 800 million, which is 56 times the amount invested in 1995-1998, when some of the flagship development initiatives were originally launched.

“What we are doing with development is not only to build football facilities. We are entering into society, we are bringing education, health and professionalism within our programmes. Football is more than just a game. We can’t change the world, but with our programmes we can help people to have a better life,” comments Valcke.

The second development seminar is set to take place from 23 until 27 of September in Costa Rica.