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Infantino outlines Fifa objectives in 2020-23 ‘vision’

FIFA president Gianni Infantino (by Elsa/Getty Images)

Fifa president Gianni Infantino has published a document outlining his objectives for the organisation under his tenure in the 2020-23 period.

The initiatives include:

  • Reviewing the international match calendar;
  • “Optimising” the laws of the game to promote offensive tactics;
  • Improving e-commerce platforms;
  • Reducing the disparity between the levels of play in different parts of the world, “with the long-term ambition of bringing at least 50 national teams and 50 clubs from all continents to a top competitive level”;
  • Creating more opportunities for men’s and women’s teams to play internationally
  • Creating a distinct brand identity for women’s football, underpinned by “an innovative digital strategy”;
  • Enhancing and expanding the availability of VAR;
  • Exploring new mobile applications for fans with features and content such as “real-time analysis”, to increase the entertainment value of the game.

In an introductory note to the document, Infantino said his first goals upon taking office in 2016 were to set Fifa “on a new path and help it recover from a well-publicised institutional crisis”. The organisation was at the time reeling under several corruption and bribery scandals. Infantino is now striking a more forward-looking note. He said: “Now, the time is ripe for Fifa to set clear and specific goals, in order to deliver further concrete results. The development of women’s football, following the most successful Women’s World Cup in history by far, is just one key area of focus.

“This document lays out a plan to further modernise the football world, make it increasingly inclusive and pave the way to a landscape in which, one day, we will have at least 50 national teams and 50 clubs from all continents at a top competitive level.

“This is a vision to make football truly global.”

The document lists 11 goals for the organisation, each with four sub-goals. In summary, these are:

“Modernise the football regulatory framework” – including by:

  • Reviewing the international match calendar;
  • Reforming the transfer system “to protect minors, reward training clubs, promote investment in youth and safeguard the integrity of competitions, while ensuring that money stays within the game for the purposes of reinvestment”;
  • “Optimising” the rules of football – “The promotion of offensive tactics should guide this process with the aim of improving the football experience – from both a sporting and entertainment point of view”.

“Grow revenues sustainably” – including by:

  • Ensuring “prime commercialisation” of the new Club World Cup;
  • Initiatives to grow the Fifa brand and increase interactions and engagement with it;
  • Exploring growth areas, including “new distribution platforms and opportunities for direct fan engagement”;
  • Exploiting digital opportunities, under which “special attention and effort will have to be directed towards areas such as the personalisation of the football experience, the improvement of e-commerce platforms and the modernisation of customer relationship model”.

“Increase the efficiency and efficacy of the organisation” – including by streamlining and digitising internal processes; and creating new, ‘fit-for-purpose’ organisational structures, giving the example of the joint venture created to organise the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

“Ensure the success of our iconic competitions” – including by:

  • Designing and creating unique experiences for fans and global audiences, both on-the-ground and in the digital environment;
  • And delivering “high-value programmes” for commercial affiliates and broadcasters.

“Globalise our competitions” – including by:

  • Adopting global and inclusive formats, ensuring that male and female players at all age groups have the chance to play against opponents from around the world more regularly;
  • Creating more opportunities for members to host a Fifa tournament, including by improving bidding processes and providing support to interested members.

“Increase global competitiveness” – Fifa noted that the disparity between the level of play in different regions of the world has been steadily widening, and said it should take steps to bridge the gaps, “with the long-term ambition of bringing at least 50 national teams and 50 clubs from all continents to a top competitive level”. Initiatives include:

  • Creating additional playing opportunities at a global level, by reforming the current competition landscape;
  • Developing technical directors, coach educators and coaches worldwide, including ensuring that “fully staffed and fit-for-purpose technical departments are established in each of the 211 member associations with full access to innovative educational programmes and tailored mentoring activities dedicated specifically to technical directors and coach educators”;
  • Establishing new global high-performance talent development programmes.

“Maximise our impact on global football development” – including by strengthening Fifa’s regional offices.

“Accelerate the growth of women’s football” – including by:

  • Introducing new regular global women’s competitions and youth tournaments;
  • Creating a distinct brand identity for women’s football, underpinned by “an innovative digital strategy”;
  • Accelerating the professionalisation of the women’s game and promoting the including of women in leadership positions.

“Harness technology in football” – including by:

  • Enhancing and expanding the availability of VAR;
  • Exploring new mobile applications for fans with features and content such as “real-time analysis”, to increase the entertainment value of the game.

“Protect positive values in football” – with particular focuses on the fight against racism, promoting fair play and respect, protecting human rights, and child safeguarding.

“Impact society through the power of football” – covering work in areas such as the education of children, using Fifa ambassadors to promote positive initiatives, tackling climate change, and working with international political and social development organisations. The document noted that Fifa has in recent years worked with the World Health Organisation, UN Women, UNESCO, the WFP, the Council of Europe, the African Union, ASEAN and the AFD.