The Ciudad del Fútbol in Las Rozas, Spain, hosted the first seminar on development activities organised by world football’s governing body, FIFA, on Monday and Tuesday.

Twenty representatives from nine European associations came together to share ideas and working methods in order to increase collaboration between associations.

Representatives of associations from Germany, Denmark, France, England, Italy, Norway, Netherlands and Portugal, as well as representatives from Spain’s international centre for innovation and development (CIID) and two UEFA representatives, participated in the seminar organised by FIFA at the Spanish Football Association’s facilities in Las Rozas on 1 and 2 October.

It is extremely satisfying to come away from these magnificent facilities with positive conclusions.

Thierry Regenass, FIFA Director of Member Associations & Development

The main aim of this pioneering initiative is to provide technical assistance to improve coordination of existing cooperation and development programmes by the member associations.

The European associations currently leading the way in terms of cooperation shared opinions and experiences in the José Villalonga room, debating how to structure and organise aid and cooperation programmes as efficiently as possible.

Pleased with positive conclusions
Thierry Regenass, FIFA Director of Member Associations & Development, told the website of the Spanish Football Association (RFEF) that they were “very pleased with the results. We discussed areas for improvement and better coordination, and it is extremely satisfying to come away from these magnificent facilities with positive conclusions.”

Regenass also highlighted the active participation of the RFEF in these types of programmes: “The Ciudad del Fútbol is a very good venue for these kinds of seminars and this event provided a unique opportunity for us to visit Spain and forge links between the various participants through working groups.”

Cooperation and coordination of assistance programmes, monitoring and organisational projects, and financial opportunities were the three topics debated by the three different working groups.

Following an outline of the existing programmes and the challenges facing each of the nine associations on Monday, the goal for Tuesday was for each of the working groups to draw up proposals for improvement and to write a report on their conclusions: “We hope to stage this type of seminar more frequently so that countries who are leading the way in development programmes can help those in most need.”

Vicente Muñoz, Vice-President of the RFEF, gave a closing address in which he thanked the attendees: “Thank you for coming to our home, we hope that the seminar has been beneficial and that you’ve had a pleasant stay. I wish you a smooth return journey.”