The eighth meeting of the FIFA Council was held today in Kigali, Rwanda, where the members of FIFA’s strategic and decision-making body discussed a number of pivotal aspects regarding the future of FIFA competitions.
In order to continue and strengthen the consultation process concerning the possibility of establishing an overhauled FIFA Club World Cup, as well as a worldwide Nations League, the FIFA Council agreed to set up a task force.
The task force will operate under the direction of the Bureau of the Council, which consists of the FIFA President and the confederation presidents, and will present its proposals at the next FIFA Council meeting, scheduled to take place in Miami from 14 to 15 March 2019.
The packed agenda for today’s gathering included concrete decisions related to FIFA tournaments scheduled for the upcoming years ¬¬– chief among which was the 100% increase in prize money for the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019™ ¬¬– as well as the approval of the regulations for an invigorated FIFA Forward Development Programme over the course of the 2019-2022 cycle.
The main decisions:
FIFA Women’s World Cup financial contribution
The FIFA Council approved an overall financial contribution of USD 50 million to the 24 teams playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 – more than tripling the amount paid in the 2015 edition (USD 15 million).
The overall contribution is broken down as follows:
– An increase of 100 per cent in prize money, which now totals USD 30 million;
– The introduction of preparation money to support the qualified teams in organising preparatory matches before the competition, a fund which totals USD 11.52 million;
– The introduction of a Club Benefits Programme to reward clubs releasing players for the competition. The total available pool is USD 8.48 million.
Hosts of future FIFA tournaments
The FIFA Council appointed Paraguay as the host of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019 and Lithuania as the host of the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2020.
International match calendar
Following up on the consultation process carried out by the FIFA administration and the relevant committees, the FIFA Council:
– Approved CONMEBOL’s request to shift the hosting of the Copa America from odd years to even years, starting with the edition to be played between 12 June and 12 July 2020. Subsequent tournaments will be held every four years, in order to harmonise with the UEFA European Championship.
– Approved CAF’s request to move the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (CAN) from January/February to June/July 2023;
– Approved the women’s international match calendar, which is now based on a four-year cycle: 2020-2023. The approved calendar includes six international windows per year, with a detailed breakdown of the different types of windows and the conditions that apply to them. The full calendar will be published on FIFA.com over the course of the next few days.
Following a thorough consultation process, which was completed at the most recent Development Committee meeting in September, the revised FIFA Forward Development Programme Regulations were presented to the FIFA Council. FIFA’s decision-making body approved the amendments to the document that will regulate Forward 2.0, that is, FIFA’s football development funding for its 211 member associations over the course of the 2019-2022 cycle. During this period:
– Development funds granted to each member association that complies with the regulations will amount to up to USD 6 million, an increase of USD 1 million compared to the previous cycle. This sum is broken down into:
up to USD 1 million per year for operational/running costs, of which USD 500,000 is subject to the fulfilment of ten specific activities, including organising men’s, women’s and youth competitions, having active men’s and women’s national teams, running men’s and women’s refereeing programmes, etc.
up to USD 2 million over the four-year cycle for specific projects based on the contract of agreed objectives, with a strong focus on those related to football infrastructure.
– Each of the six confederations will be entitled to a yearly contribution of USD 12 million to support its football activities and projects;
– Funding will include a contribution of up to USD 1 million per year for each zonal/regional association, specifically to organise men’s, women’s and youth football tournaments;
– Accountability for funds allocated as part of the Forward Programme will be further strengthened, with even stricter auditing and reporting measures. For example, each member association or confederation will have to engage the services of a statutory auditor and will be subject to a central audit review undertaken by an independent, high-profile, international auditing company;
– Beneficiaries must ensure that the principles of anti-discrimination, diversity, accessibility and inclusion, and human rights for all, are protected and promoted, as well as take measures to protect and safeguard children and minors from potential abuse.
The updated FIFA Forward Development Programme Regulations approved by the FIFA Council in Kigali will be published in their entirety on FIFA.com by the end of October.
Football for Schools Programme
Having been presented with updated financial results, which show that FIFA has contracted more than USD 6.2 billion in revenues – or 110 per cent of its full-cycle budget for 2015-2018 – the FIFA Council agreed to commit part of this surplus to implement the new Football for Schools Programme.
A budget of USD 100 million has been allocated to implement the programme and operate it until 2022. Through the initiative, FIFA will distribute nine million footballs to schools in the territories of the 211 member associations and create an online platform to inform teachers on how to incorporate football into education.
Transfer system reform
The members of the FIFA Council endorsed the reform package of the transfer system recently agreed by the FIFA Football Stakeholders Committee. This document lays out the fundamental principles of what will eventually become a set of concrete regulations to be drafted by the Task Force Transfer System in consultation with representatives from clubs (ECA), leagues (the World Leagues Forum), players (FIFPro) as well as member associations, confederations and the FIFA administration. The task force will provide an update of its work at the next Football Stakeholders Committee meeting in February 2019.
Task Force for Women’s Football
Convening only a few days after the launch of FIFA’s landmark global strategy for women’s football, the FIFA Council ratified the Football Stakeholders Committee decision to establish a Task Force for Women’s Football, whose objective will be to identify clear goals for the women’s game and the mechanisms to reach them. The FIFA administration is now assigned with setting up the task force and determining a work plan and a timeline for its activities.
La Liga match outside Spain in the 2018/19 season
Following a request for guidance from the Spanish FA, US Soccer and CONCACAF, the FIFA Council discussed La Liga’s proposal to host an official 2018/19 regular season league match outside Spain (in Miami).
Consistent with the opinion expressed by the Football Stakeholders Committee, the Council emphasised the sporting principle that official league matches must be played within the territory of the respective member association. (FIFA.com)