FIFA Forward is a “step change” for global football development and the way we share the success of the FIFA World Cup with our member associations.
It is built on three principles to provide 360 degree, tailor-made support for football development in each of our member associations and the six confederations:
- more investment,
- more impact,
- more oversight.
The aim is to improve the way we develop and support football across the globe, so that the sport can reach its potential in every nation and so that everyone that wants to take part can do so without barriers.
FIFA FORWARD TAKING SHAPE:
We are significantly increasing our financial support for member associations and football development to 5 million USD per four-year cycle for each member association from 1.6 million USD per cycle.
This means each association has access to 750,000 US dollars per year for football projects such as pitches, competitions and women’s football.
And every association also receives up to 500,000 US dollars per year for running costs in areas including administration and governance.
We are increasing our financial support for the six confederations so that they can do more to develop football in their regions.
Confederations now receive 40 million US dollars per four-year cycle for football development, up from 22 million US dollars.
We are providing extra help to member associations that need it, from football equipment and internship programmes to up to 1 million US dollars to cover travel costs so that women’s and youth teams can compete in international competitions.
And we will give regional associations up to 1 million dollars per year to reimburse the cost of organising regional youth competitions for young women and men.
We aim to improve the impact and efficiency of our investment in development, achieving better and more sustainable results so that football can thrive everywhere.
We are bringing together all of our football project support into one tailor-made contract of agreed objectives and a development plan to meet the specific needs and challenges of each association.
This means our member associations receive comprehensive and intelligent support, depending on their circumstances and the priorities and objectives they set for themselves, so that we make the most out of every dollar spent on football.
We will focus on priority areas for the growth of global football, such as playing infrastructure, women’s and youth football, and domestic competitions.
We want to encourage best practice in football administration among our member associations, so that football has a strong foundation around the world.
We will reward associations for fulfilling a range of criteria that we believe are necessary for the sustainable and responsible management of football at national level.
As part of Forward’s annual “running costs” funding per association, members receive basic support of 100,000 US dollars per year. They can then receive additional annual funding of 50,000 US dollars for each of the following criteria they fulfil, up to an additional 400,000 dollars each year:
- Employing a general secretary
- Employing a technical director
- Organising a men’s league
- Organising a women’s league
- Organising a men’s youth league
- Organising a women’s youth league
- Women’s football promotion and development strategy
- Good governance/integrity programme
- Grassroots football promotion and development strategy
- Refereeing promotion and development strategy
At least two of the areas that member associations can focus on for this extra funding must cover women’s football.
It is vital that these funds are used in the correct way so that they have the maximum impact for football on the ground.
We are introducing enhanced oversight controls to ensure that this increase in football development spending is transparent, carefully managed and effective.
- One contract of agreed objectives per association, setting the strategy for development over two to four years, approved by the Development Committee.
- All tailor-made projects must be linked to the contract of agreed objectives; any project above USD 300’000 to be approved by the Development Committee.
- FIFA administration to monitor the progress of projects.
- Independent financial audits of Forward funds for each association.
- Enhanced Development regulations, including greater powers of oversight and tougher compliance measures.
- At least 50 percent independent FIFA Development Committee to oversee Forward programme.
- Publication of independent audits of member associations’ annual finances
Having experienced some of the measures stated above, it is inconceivable that Ghana football would not undergo major disciplinary, governance and auditing transformation.
In the process, it is discernible that Ghana football, run into the underground by the erstwhile Kwesi Nyantakyi maladministration, would thus be revamped and restored to normalcy to compete, conquer and join the ranks of the sport’s elite.
That success would serve as a powerful example for the rest of Africa, a testament of a new dawn of greater cooperation between governments and fifa, itself striving to clean house, and win more converts for the game around the world.
That is the potential awaiting Ghana football as it negotiates the curve from a nauseous and obnoxious rule of fraud to the prospect of a prosperous, glamorous and glorious future.
We can’t wait! Can we?