THE JOURNEY 2016-2019

The journey 2016-2019

2016

Election of Gianni Infantino as FIFA President

Gianni Infantino was elected on 26 February as the ninth President of FIFA. The turnaround of the organisation has been achieved in less than a full term of office.

Implementation of governance reforms

The reforms included the separation of strategic and executive functions, the introduction of term limits, the restructuring of committees and new mechanisms to enhance the control of money flows.

Creation of the FIFA Forward development programme

FIFA development funding to member associations has enjoyed a massive fourfold increase starting directly from 2016. At the same time, enhanced compliance measures were introduced to ensure the proper and sustainable management of funds. 

Restructuring of the FIFA administration

FIFA split its administration in two: one branch is focused on the institution – including the newly created compliance function – and the other branch is focused on football – including a dedicated Women’s Football Division.

Joining of the UN Climate Change initiative

FIFA pledged to become greenhouse gas emission-neutral by 2050 and committed to measuring, reducing and offsetting all of the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from FIFA World Cups™.

Establishment of the Executive Football Summits

FIFA Executive Football Summits were introduced to promote closer engagement between FIFA and its members, providing a democratic forum for the constructive exchange of knowledge and discussion for every member association in the world.

Extraordinary FIFA Congress
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2017

First edition of The Best FIFA Football Awards™

The first awards ceremony took place in January 2017 crowning the best men’s and women’s players and coaches of 2016.

Expansion of the FIFA World Cup

The FIFA Council unanimously agreed to expand football’s crown jewel to a 48-team competition from 2026, presenting an opportunity for more member associations to make their dream of playing in a FIFA World Cup come true.

Adoption of FIFA’s Human Rights Policy

FIFA’s commitment to human rights is enshrined in its statutes, defined in its landmark Human Rights Policy and strengthened by an advisory board: a group of independent experts, and representatives of trade unions and civil society.

Enhanced anti-discrimination mechanism

With the introduction of the three-step procedure for all tournaments, FIFA empowered match officials to stop, suspend and abandon matches in cases of discriminatory incidents inside the stadium.

Enhanced bidding process for the FIFA World Cup

The procedures to determine the host or hosts of the first 48-team FIFA World Cup were objective and transparent: from the publication of bid books and evaluation reports to the public vote at the FIFA Congress.

The World Cup trophy is seen during closing ceremony
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2018

Formal recognition of professional women’s football status

The status of women players has been integrated in FIFA’s transfer system, making the use of the International Transfer Matching System mandatory for all international transfers of professional players.

Introduction of the video assistant referee (VAR)

Following a two-year period of thorough testing and reporting, a protocol establishing the use of VAR was included in the Laws of the Game, and VAR was successfully implemented at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia.

Creation of the FIFA Foundation

The FIFA Foundation is an independent entity harnessing football’s popularity to promote positive social change: from educational projects to the reconstruction of damaged or destroyed sports infrastructure.

The best-ever FIFA World Cup in Russia in 2018

By any measure, the tournament in Russia was an indisputable triumph. A total of 98% of the seats were occupied, 1 million fans travelled to the host country, and around the globe more than 3.5 billion people watched the event.

Launch of the first-ever global strategy for women’s football

FIFA’s Women’s Football Strategy is a systematic guide not only to growing the game in all facets, but also to increasing women’s empowerment and participation, both on and off the pitch.

Endorsement of the first Transfer Reform Package

The first major step towards improving the transfer system for all stakeholders increased the transparency of the system, thereby protecting its integrity and reinforcing solidarity mechanisms for training clubs.

Approval of the first ever four-year women’s international match calendar

For the first time ever, the women’s international match calendar has been based on a four-year cycle (2020-2023) to reflect the current landscape of women’s football.

Unprecedented financial success

Following a tumultuous crisis, which nearly brought FIFA to its knees in 2015, the 2015-2018 financial cycle recorded an unprecedented high in revenues, net result and level of reserves. This ensured FIFA could fulfil its fundamental role: investing in football’s development.

General view inside the stadium during the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Quarter Final match between Norway and England.
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2019

Establishment of FIFA Forward 2.0

The second phase of FIFA’s development programme increased investments to USD 1.76 billion for the four-year cycle. This effectively represents five times more than member associations received in 2015 and includes up to USD 6 million for each member association and USD 12 million for each of the confederations.

Launch of the Football for Schools Programme

Working with national governments and United Nations agencies, FIFA’s Football for Schools Programme makes the game more accessible to children, contributing to their overall education and development of life skills.

Introduction of a new global club football tournament

FIFA’s new global club football tournament will be played for the first time in June/July 2021. This new event will represent the pinnacle of club football at the global level, opening an unprecedented pathway for clubs and fans from all over the world to compete and connect with each other.

A historic FIFA Women’s World Cup

The FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 was a watershed moment for the women’s game, reaching a total of 1.12 billion viewers and doubling the live match audience compared to the 2015 edition.

Introduction of a child safeguarding programme

FIFA launched a dedicated programme and toolkit – FIFA Guardians™ – to help member associations and confederations around the world to introduce stronger child safeguarding measures in football.

Entry into force of the new FIFA Code of Ethics and FIFA Disciplinary Code

The new rules strengthen the system, enhance transparency and streamline ethics and disciplinary proceedings, introducing the right to request public hearings, pro bono legal aid and a stricter legal framework for racist incidents.

Expansion of the FIFA Women’s World Cup

The success of the tournament in France highlighted the need to keep developing the game on a global scale. To that end, the FIFA Council unanimously voted to expand it to a 32-team competition starting in 2023.

Endorsement of the second Transfer Reform Package

The approval of the second Transfer Reform Package will ensure the effective regulation of agents, player loans, training compensation and solidarity mechanisms.

Launch of FIFA’s legal portal

The new legal portal provides greater transparency by ensuring, for the first time ever, public access to the decisions of FIFA’s judicial bodies, as well as to other relevant legal and compliance documents.

USA lift the trophy after victory in the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup France Final match
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