FIFA President highlights commitment to good governance and human rights in Council of Europe address
President Infantino invited to address assembly as report on football governance is adopted
Document hails FIFA’s ongoing reform of transfer system and agents regulations
Key areas of collaboration include promotion of transparency and integrity, child safeguarding and human rights
Invited to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on the occasion of the adoption of a new report on football governance, FIFA President Gianni Infantino highlighted the shared values of the two organisations and their strong cooperation since the signing of a memorandum of understanding in 2018. He particularly underlined FIFA’s efforts to promote transparency, safe sport for children and the protection of human rights, in line with the Council of Europe’s core objectives.
Speaking to the delegates assembled at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg and virtually, the FIFA President welcomed the “Football governance: business and values” report prepared by Lord Foulkes of Cumnock and adopted today. The document provides clear support to FIFA’s ongoing reform of the transfer system and agents regulations, which aims to ensure transparency of financial flows and fight excesses, and lends its backing to FIFA’s project to set up a safe sport entity to deal with cases of abuse in sport. On the ongoing reform of the transfer system and agents regulations, President Infantino said: “It is very important that we have transparency, that we avoid excessive commissions and that we make sure that money goes where it has to go, which is into the development of players, into solidarity, into the development of football.” President Infantino also shared FIFA’s vision to take football to every corner of the world and create positive change. With the FIFA World Cup 2022™ fast approaching, he underlined the significant progress achieved by Qatar in the field of human rights in a very short time, as recognised by many international experts, progress that had taken place as a result of the spotlight of the World Cup.
PACE’s report commends FIFA’s role in getting the labour law reform process under way in Qatar alongside other international institutions, trade unions and NGOs. While recognising that more could always be done and the focus should be maintained, Infantino stressed that “we also need to recognise that change indeed has happened and we must support those who are investing their time, their energy and their belief for this change to happen”. The debate also provided an opportunity to discuss the ongoing consultation process on the future of global football initiated by FIFA. President Infantino said that it was not only a debate about holding the FIFA World Cup™ every two years, but about what could be done for the future of football around the whole world. “We see that football goes in the direction where a few have a lot and the vast majority have nothing,” he said. “We need to find ways to include the entire world and give hope.” Following the plenary session, the FIFA President, accompanied by FIFA Deputy Secretary General (Administration) Alasdair Bell and FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger planned further talks with the Committee on Culture, Science, Education and Media. President Infantino also had meetings and a working lunch with Council of Europe (CoE) Secretary General Marija Pejčinović Burić, CoE Deputy Secretary General Bjorn Berge and the newly elected President of the Parliamentary Assembly, Tiny Kox.