Lively exchanges at fifth FIFA Executive Football Summit in Amsterdam

  • Fifth FIFA Executive Football Summit concludes in Amsterdam

  • 21 member associations and three confederations debated a variety of issues

  • Infantino: "Event about discussion, collaboration, cooperation, and inclusion"

"Every young football fan dreams of holding the World Cup Trophy aloft one day. Our job is to keep that dream alive.” With these words, FIFA President Gianni Infantino brought the fifth FIFA Executive Football Summit of the 2017/2018 series to a close in Amsterdam.

Presidents and general secretaries from 21 FIFA member associations and three confederations (AFC, CONCACAF, and UEFA) debated issues, including the FIFA Forward Programme and the future of youth and women’s competitions.

Countries value the regular interaction that the Executive Football Summit offers, as it gives them the opportunity to better understand the issues their colleagues face. "This event is about discussion, collaboration, cooperation, and inclusion," Infantino reminded delegates before they aired their views on the summit’s key issues in a series of group meetings. "Temporarily splitting the participants into smaller groups gives each association more opportunities to have their say and express their opinions in detail," explained FIFA Council Member Evelina Christillin from Italy.

Infrastructure is the greatest challenge for one member, while weather conditions pose major problems for another, and a third is struggling with the transition from grassroots football to youth teams. Although the needs of FIFA’s 211 member associations differ significantly, the aim is to find a solution to all issues affecting the future of the game that is supported by all members.

"These decisions are not being made from on high,” said FIFA Vice-President David Gill from England. “The member associations are part of the discussions and decision-making process, and that means greater transparency and understanding.” FIFA’s Director of Member Association Services Theodore Giannikos, added: "Although the feedback from our member associations is overwhelmingly positive, we are determined not to rest on our laurels as, to use President Infantino’s words, ‘We measure our success by the future, not the past’."

The next FIFA Executive Football Summit takes place later this week, this time in Jamaica. Several countries will once again discuss the future of the beautiful game in a spirit of cooperation – and to keep alive the dreams of every child around the world, who imagines lifting the FIFA World Cup™ Trophy one day.