Fifa has signed what it claims is a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Confederation of African Football (CAF) and African Union (AU).
The MoU, signed on the sidelines of the Ordinary Assembly of the AU in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will see the three bodies implement common strategies and programmes with a focus on the areas of education, good governance and the fight against corruption, as well as safety and security at football matches.
The three organisations have agreed to collaborate on the promotion of good governance and anti-corruption in sport, in particular through joint actions such as workshops and awareness campaigns against match manipulation and other forms of malpractice in football.
Furthermore, joint actions are envisaged to promote good governance among the Fifa member associations in the AU region with key principles such as democracy, gender equality, stakeholder involvement, transparency, accountability, solidarity, and checks and balances. This comes as CAF president Ahmad is coming under increasing pressure over his leadership of the organisation.
Safety at African football stadia is also a key concern for authorities. In September, five fans died at an African Champions League game between Angolan club Primeiro de Agosto and DR Congo’s TP Mazembe. The fans were said to have died following a stampede at the Estádio 11 de Novembro in Luanda.
The MoU will seek to promote safety and security at football matches. Fifa said it will use its broad expertise in this field and work in cooperation with relevant public and private stakeholders. The collaboration will focus on capacity-building on legislative aspects, the development of stadium safety and security management measures and interventions, as well as engagement in best practice exchange across AU countries.
Finally, under the new MoU, Fifa, CAF and the AU will join forces to support education using football for schoolchildren of all member countries of the AU, which will also include the development and training of teachers.
This will include the implementation of Fifa’s new Football for Schools Programme, which will see the distribution of 11 million balls to as many schools as possible around the globe while contributing to the development of life skills of children through the promotion of the key values of football.
Fifa has allocated a budget of $100m (€88.6m) to the Football for Schools Programme over the next four-year cycle, and pilot projects will start in Mauritania, Botswana and Rwanda soon.