- 250 participants in FIFA workinars for the Americas region
- Sessions permitting FIFA to virtually work alongside the associations
- Coordinated effort to restart professional and amateur football
The first series of workinars for FIFA’s member associations in North, Central and South America, and the Spanish-speaking Caribbean has successfully concluded.
Launched last May due to the impossibility of holding face-to-face meetings, the initiative aimed to maintain FIFA’s close working relationship with the associations and continue to equip them with the fundamental knowledge and tools needed for their operations and the organization of football during the COVID-19 pandemic. The cycle of meetings culminated on 25 November with a total of 250 participants, including representatives of 23 member associations from the region, FIFA experts, and consultants with extensive experience in the football industry.
Across a series of workinars combining theory and practice, member associations were able to hear from and consult with specialists and also present specific cases, good practices and experiences in different areas. Consequently, the sessions provided federations with a learning space to further professionalize and strengthen the overall development of football, while addressing concerns regarding the preparation of national teams and tournament organisation in these unprecedented circumstances.
"I appreciate this space as it allows the exchange of experiences and best practices between member associations relating to the challenges, limitations, protocols and measures adopted to resume sporting activity. Hopefully we can continue to have these types of forums in the future," said Inigo Riestra, General Secretary of the Mexican Football Federation and a speaker at one of the sessions. Gustavo Silikovich, General Secretary of the Ecuadorian Football Federation, was another presenter who appreciated the initiative: "It was a wonderful meeting that I hope will be repeated. It’s very positive to be able to participate in an event that lets you know everything that has been done and understand the processes and steps to follow thanks to the shared experiences of other associations".
For FIFA, workinars have been indispensable in allowing it to virtually work alongside its associations and assist them with, among other things, drawing up appropriate structures and financial plans to address the difficulties generated by this pandemic. In this regard, a coordinated effort was made to restart professional and amateur football, while bolstering activities under the remit of the FIFA Forward Development Programme. Among other aspects, associations were provided with a new guide in the area of planning, administration and maintenance of sustainable football infrastructure projects, alongside comprehensive assistance by means of clear and concise guidelines.
Jair Bertoni, FIFA's Director of Member Associations for the Americas, congratulated member associations on their extraordinary efforts this year. "Despite the enormous challenges posed by the pandemic, associations in the Americas have ensured the continuity of their operations and football activities. From our side, we were fully available to assist them, on the one hand with the effective implementation of the FIFA Covid-19 Support Plan, and on the other with organising virtual meetings like these, which are so effective in the exchange of information and know-how."
FIFA will maintain its close ties with the associations in 2021. This series of "workinars" is only the beginning of several initiatives that, through the use of technology, will allow associations to consolidate and acquire skills, anticipate trends and receive the latest developments on a variety of key issues to continue optimizing football management in the region.