ASEAN and FIFA focus on strengthening long-term collaboration

  • Zurich meeting reviews achievements and discusses plans for future collaboration

  • ASEAN and FIFA originally signed memorandum of understanding at the 2019 ASEAN Summit in Bangkok

  • Fatma Samoura: “It is important for FIFA to use football as a tool for social development”

During a visit to the Home of FIFA in Zurich, a delegation from the ASEAN Committee in Berne (ACB) thanked FIFA for their fruitful collaboration and expressed their hope that it would help improve football infrastructure and development in its ten member states. ASEAN and FIFA signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Bangkok in 2019 and members of the ACB were given a comprehensive update on the progress since then.

H.E. Prof. Dr. Muliaman Dharmansyah Hadad, current Chair of the ACB (January-June 2022) and Ambassador of Indonesia, said the ACB was pleased to learn about the achievements of the last two-and-a-half years, which had been especially challenging because of the coronavirus pandemic. “We look forward to maintaining this fruitful collaboration, especially as the eyes of the world will focus on our region in the next year, be that for the G20 Summit in Bali, Indonesia, in November 2022 or for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, also in Indonesia, in 2023,” he said. The ACB’s Heads of Mission also expressed their interest to continue this important collaboration to help to build a strong infrastructure in the ten member states, be that via the women’s football development programme, through the implementation video assistant referees in competitions or other such initiatives. Equally, ASEAN looks forward to having the opportunity to host future FIFA events in the future, especially considering the football-loving populations across the ten member states.

ZURICH, SWITZERLAND - MAY 17: FIFA Secretary General Fatma Samoura, FIFA Director Member Associations Asia & Oceania Sanjeevan Balasinga and FIFA Head of International Relations & Public Affairs Myriam Burkhard during the visit of the ASEAN Committee in Bern (ACB) delegation of HoF, the Home of FIFA on May 17, 2022 in Zurich, Switzerland. (Photo by Harold Cunningham/FIFA)

FIFA Secretary-General Fatma Samoura said: “It is important for FIFA to use football as a tool for social development, and this was an important objective behind this MoU with ASEAN together with its ten member states. It is crucial for FIFA to develop partnerships with international organisations, such as ASEAN. Football is a universal language, and everyone can understand it. We want to make football possible for everyone, for girls and boys, and in safe and secure conditions.” The meeting also included detailed presentations and facilitated discussions for a range of topics – child safeguarding, human rights, women’s football development, integrity, anti-doping, Football for Schools and communications initiatives – while also introducing FIFA Forward and COVID-19 Relief Plan programmes which provided a detailed view of FIFA’s ongoing investment with FIFA member associations in the ASEAN region.