FIFA at the Clinton Global Initiative

FIFA has participated in the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, which took place in New York from 21 to 23 September.

The Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting is a premier gathering for heads of state, business executives, and leaders of the non-profit sector from around the world, and this year it took place in New York City, with FIFA represented.

"CGI members come from 90 different countries, speak many languages, work in all sectors, and approach problems in unique ways,” President Clinton said. “But together, their desire and capacity to build a better world for our children and grandchildren has resulted in 1,946 commitments, valued at $63 billion, which have already improved nearly 300 million lives."

Around the same time last year, at the 2009 CGI Annual Meeting, which was also held in the Big Apple, FIFA made three commitments to the world and was present again this year at the meeting to show that the world governing body has kept its word.

One of the main projects announced last year was the ‘20 Centers for 2010’ programme, which was a grand plan to build 20 community centres across Africa over the coming years. A progress report on the centres was given to the CGI participants at one of yesterday’s plenary sessions.

"FIFA is proud to be at the CGI Annual Meeting for the second time and to provide an update on the Football for Hope Centres in Africa as well as to participate in a new commitment in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank,” said Federico Addiechi, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at FIFA.

Shortly after the announcement was made last year, the first Football for Hope Centre was inaugurated on 5 December 2009 in Khayelitsha, Cape Town and continues in full operation, while the second Football for Hope Centre in Nairobi, Kenya opened its doors less than a year later on 4 September 2010.

In a couple of days time, on 25 September 2010 to be exact, the third Football for Hope Centre in Windhoek, Namibia will begin welcoming visitors. Meanwhile, the final construction phase is in full swing at the fourth Football for Hope Centre in Baguineda, Mali and many more are in the final phase of design including those in Rwanda, Ghana, and Lesotho.

Not only did FIFA prove to the world that it always fulfils its promises - it also made some new ones. In partnership with the government of Korea, FIFA, streetfootballworld, Coca-Cola, SIDOC Foundation, Colombianitos Foundation, and the Government of Colombia, the Inter-American Development Bank will support the development of two Sports for Development programmes in Colombia, one of which will be located in Cali and the other in Bogota.

Both programmes will provide equal access for young girls and boys to sports and physical activities, education and vocational training, with the goal of preventing violence while promoting healthy lifestyles and social inclusion, particularly among girls and women.

As Addiechi said: "We, at FIFA, agree wholeheartedly with the CGI philosophy that cooperation among entities from all sectors of society is the key for us to successfully address the most pressing problems of our time.”