The setting-up of two new development programmes to promote participation in the FIFA U-17 World Cup qualifiers and to develop domestic youth competitions respectively, and the approval of the first-ever Goal projects for the USA, Italy and Sweden were among the main outcomes of the FIFA Development Committee meeting held today, 23 September 2014, under the chairmanship of Issa Hayatou at the Home of FIFA.
The new initiative aimed at U-17 male and female teams will enable member associations that fulfil specific criteria to receive FIFA’s financial support for the organisational expenses of home matches as well as for the travel costs of away games in order to increase participation in FIFA youth competitions.
In the area of domestic youth tournaments, FIFA’s objective will be to help member associations to increase the number of youth competitions in different age groups by means of specific education programmes, teaching material and equipment. Member associations will be requested to provide a four-year development plan under the guidance of a technical director to be entitled to receive FIFA’s support.
“Both programmes are very much in line with FIFA’s intention to support male and female youth football competitions during the upcoming financial cycle in order to increase participation opportunities and subsequently quality,” commented Hayatou.
*Goal* funds to benefit women’s football in Belgium **32 Goal projects were today approved by FIFA’s Development Committee. Among the new initiatives are the building of headquarters for the Congolese Football Federation, the upgrade of the technical centre in Papua New Guinea, the support to the national football academy in India ahead of the 2017 FIFA U-17 World Cup and the construction of a football pitch in Bhutan's district of Tsirang.
With the USA, Italy and Sweden, three new beneficiaries have joined FIFA’s Goal Programme, which has now seen the approval of 700 initiatives in 205 member associations since 1999, 209 during the 2011-2014 financial cycle alone.
While US Soccer will use the Goal funds to build futsal courts at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center in Carson, the Italian FA will set up a video production, monitoring and statistical analysis scheme, and Sweden will establish a specific e-learning infrastructure. Italy and Sweden were FIFA’s last remaining European member associations with no Goal projects to date.
The German FA will receive its second Goal project in order to contribute to the construction of a technical centre. Belgium will become the second country after Australia to benefit from a Goal project that is completely dedicated to a women’s football development programme within the scope of FIFA’s initiative Live Your Goals.
A list of all Goal projects as well as the initiatives corresponding to the Programme for Less-Privileged Associations, the Income Generation Programme and the PERFORMANCE Programme approved today by FIFA’s Development Committee is available in the PDF document on the right-hand side.
While new development guidelines had already been confirmed by the Development Committee in 2012 and 2013, at today’s session the last two sets of regulations for both the Income Generation Programme and the Programme for Less-Privileged Associations were submitted to the FIFA Executive Committee for approval.
*Diversification of programmes and increased budget *The Development Committee also highlighted the increase by 100 per cent of the support fund for confederations’ development programmes – currently USD 5.5 million per confederation every year -, the creation of new initiatives such as the MA Extranet (information between FIFA and MAs), PERFORMANCE (organisation and management; 167 member associations currently participating), Less-Privileged Associations (positive discrimination for the poorest MAs to increase the number of pitches; 65 approved during the 2011-2014 cycle), Income Generation (funding diversification; 28 approved during the 2011-2014 cycle), Connect (registration and worldwide unique ID), and the implementation of 1,645 technical activities, including courses and festivals, during the 2011-2014 cycle.
The 2015-2018 period will see the current development budget of USD 800 million increase by USD 100 million, with a further improvement of the financial governance of FIFA development funds, an increase of Goal allocations (by 50% since 2010 – from USD 400,000 to 600,000), the doubling of women’s football development funds, and a fivefold enlargement of the capacity to provide football equipment as some of the main priorities.