Mongolia hosts historic FIFA Forward Workshop

  • Mongolia hosts FIFA Forward Workshop in Ulaanbaatar

  • 11 MAs from East and South East Asia participate

  • Part of series of global FIFA Forward Programme workshops

A historic FIFA Forward Workshop was held in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia from 29-30 July, with 11 Member Associations (MAs) from the East and South East Asian region taking part.

The first FIFA event hosted by the Mongolian Football Federation (MFF) since its inception in 1959 saw two days of productive activities, which highlighted the benefits that funding from the FIFA Forward Programme can bring to MAs.

The workshop, divided into several sessions over the two days, included discussions on the first cycle of the FIFA Forward Development Programme, and what the future of FIFA Forward looks like in the 2019-2022 cycle. There was also a case study into the Icelandic Football Association's use of FIFA Forward funds, presented by Geir Thorsteinsson (the former president of the Icelandic FA) and discussions on women's football and how to correctly submit a FIFA Forward application.

“On behalf of the entire Mongolian football family, I very much appreciate the fact that FIFA has decided to organise such a prestigious event in my country," said Ganbaatar Amgalanbaatar, MFF President. "I am also happy that the FIFA Workshop provided very important information on the Forward Development Programme which has really enhanced the development of football throughout the world, including Mongolia.

"The financial support provided to the MFF has enabled us to support our national teams in nine age categories including women’s and futsal. We have also prioritised women’s football as a key goal in our strategic objectives. I would like to end by saying that MFF and FIFA are one team with one goal."

Representing FIFA in Mongolia were Sanjeevan Balasingam, FIFA's Regional MA Director (Asia and Oceania) and his team (as follows). Lavin Vignesh, FIFA Regional Development Manager (South East and East Asia) and Niko Nhouvannasak, Project Coordinator FIFA Regional Office, Kuala Lumpur and Sonam Jigmi, AFC Member Association Development Officer. Daniel O'Toole, from FIFA's Financial Governance Programme was also part of the workshop, along with Juerg Nepfer, FIFA's Head of Technical Development Services and Geir Thorsteinsson, (the former president of the Icelandic FA).

Member Associations in attendance

  • ​China PR

  • Guam

  • Hong Kong

  • Japan

  • Korea Republic

  • Korea DPR

  • Macau

  • Mongolia

  • Philippines

  • Thailand

  • Vietnam

The participants found the workshop useful, and fully appreciated the opportunity to discuss the benefits of the FIFA Forward Programme.

"The HKFA has greatly benefited from this new FIFA initiative – the Forward Development Programme, in recent years," said Vincent Yuen, General Secretary of the Hong Kong FA. "On this occasion we are not only being given the chance to review the whole programme together with FIFA and fellow MAs but also have received information on the enhanced and improved version of the programme. The workshop is entirely enlightening and the interaction is informative. I cannot thank FIFA enough for this."

The workshop stressed the importance of strategic planning for all MAs, making clear that their respective plans would form key priorities to be contained in the Contract of Agreed Objectives (CAOs). The CAOs will be executed along with FIFA for the upcoming cycle (2019-2022) of the FIFA Forward Development Programme.

During the workshop, there were engaging discussions in bilateral meetings between each of the 11 MAs, which focused on the drafting of the CAOs for the 2019-2022 period.

"Continuing on from the 2017 edition of the Forward Workshops, we were able to learn about practices and various experiences of different member associations which was very helpful," said Sean An from the Korean FA. "In particular, Iceland Football Association's case study provided an inspirational and unique insight of how the FIFA Forward can be utilised as a foundation in leaving a legacy."

The workshop in Mongolia is just one of a series of global workshops organised by the FIFA Member Associations Division, to ensure the 211 MAs and six confederations are kept up-to-date on the FIFA Forward Programme.