FIFA teams up with national associations to continue Djibouti’s football development
Having signed a three-party cooperation agreement with the Djiboutian Football Association (FDF) on 12 October 2020 – digitally, owing to the pandemic – FIFA and its partner, the French Football Association (FFF), restated their commitment to supporting French-speaking African countries at an event held this week at the FFF’s head office in Paris. The main objective of the agreement is to develop football in the countries in question and to put the game there on a professional footing with the support of funding from the FIFA Forward programme and by making full use of FIFA/FFF Technical Support Programme initiatives.
The event was attended by representatives of the various bodies concerned, among them FDF President Souleiman Hassan Waberi, FIFA Director of Member Associations Kenny Jean-Marie, and FFF President Noel Le Graet. The main aim of the gathering was to review the various actions that have already been carried out in Djibouti to date with the help of partners on the ground. These actions include training courses for local instructors and coaches.
Raising development standards
The initiatives will ultimately help create a more professional framework for people working in football in this country in the Horn of Africa, while also strengthening the already close ties between partners with a view to achieving a common goal: the sustainable development of football for everyone in a part of the world where many talented players are still waiting to be discovered.
The Paris gathering also included a meeting at which FDF representatives sat down with refereeing and marketing professionals to discuss these two areas and have their questions answered.
Four three-party cooperation agreements have been signed to date, with Djibouti, Central African Republic, Congo and Mali. In the process, FIFA, the four member associations and the FFF are striving to work together and pursue common goals to roll out targeted initiatives specific to each country.
The programme allows FIFA to work closely with member associations and achieve its goal of raising football development standards for everyone everywhere. The partnership with the FFF will free up additional resources and maximise the impact FIFA has around the world. In stepping up this cooperation, FIFA hopes to roll out the programme in ten countries by 2022.
The stakeholders had this to say after their meetings:
FIFA Director of Member Associations Kenny Jean-Marie “This event highlights all the work we have done in marrying the Forward programme with the FFF’s desire to support its sister associations in Africa. This is only the start, and we are convinced that this programme will lead to other opportunities arising and will allow the wider football family to work together on common and genuinely global projects.”
FFF President Noel Le Graet “It gives me great pride and pleasure to begin working with the Djiboutian Football Association as part of the protocol signed with FIFA and its president, Gianni Infantino, in December 2018 in Paris. This support programme is a wonderful tool for supporting the development of football in Africa.”
FDF President Souleiman Hassan Waberi “This partnership with FIFA and the FFF forms part of the global vision of football development in Djibouti. This support will enable all the stakeholders of Djiboutian football to progress, through coach education, player training, refereeing, marketing, and infrastructure. I would like to thank FIFA and the FFF for this unique opportunity, which will allow us to benefit from French expertise.”
On Wednesday 1 September, all the event’s participants were invited to Strasbourg for France’s FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina, a well-earned opportunity to sit in a stadium with fans and enjoy some quality football.