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FIFA, AFD sign landmark cooperation agreement to promote women’s football, develop school football in Africa

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New strategic alliance will see FIFA and the French Development Agency use football as a vehicle for education, development and social change; FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFD CEO Remy Rioux sign agreement at ceremony attended by French President Emmanuel Macron along with FIFA Legends Marcel Desailly, Didier Drogba, Samuel Eto’o, Bernard Lama and Candice Prévost.

FIFA and the French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement, AFD) today signed a landmark agreement, three days before the FIFA Women’s World Cup™ kicks off in France, that will see the two organisations work together to create positive change in society and communities through football.

Signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and AFD CEO Remy Rioux at a special ceremony at the Élysée Palace, the agreement aims to develop collaboration between FIFA and AFD for the implementation of various social projects related to football, including the development of women’s football and the Football for Schools Programme.

FIFA and the AFD will be partners and cooperate on joint projects in Africa with two main objectives:

  • Gender equality and women’s empowerment

    President Macron has said that equality between women and men is the great national objective of his five-year term. The AFD has a strategic objective called a “100% social link”, in particular through the inclusion of women and the fight against gender inequality. In terms of empowerment, the AFD will promote women’s participation in sport and partner with FIFA to implement FIFA’s new strategy for women’s football.

    FIFA’s 2016-2026 road map, “FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future”, sets out several tangible and measurable goals for the development of football, among which is a commitment to significantly raise the number of women and girls playing football, up to 60 million. As part of its new vision, FIFA adopted a strategy for women’s football in October 2018 with the aim of developing the women’s game and using football as a powerful unifying factor and tool to bring about positive societal change, to fight inequality and to empower girls and women around the world.

  • Education through football

    School is “where we build the society we need and want to see” (President Macron at the opening of a preschool assembly). In this respect, sport is a vehicle for keeping or bringing young people back into the education system, fostering interculturalism and solidarity and transmitting fundamental values to build a world of peace, equality and respect.

    FIFA, through its Football for Schools Programme, aims to reach over 700 million girls and boys around the world and invest USD 120 million over the next four years with the overall objective of making football more accessible to children everywhere and contributing to their education, social development and empowerment.

    FIFA and the AFD will combine resources and implement joint programmes to promote football as a sport for all, socio-educational projects and equality in football, as well as invest in local infrastructure. These initiatives will run alongside existing programmes being carried out by the AFD as well as ongoing projects in member associations as part of the FIFA Forward development programme and the FIFA Football for Schools Programme.

Quotes on the agreement:

FIFA President Gianni Infantino said:

“I am happy that today, another strategic alliance has been forged to help use football as a platform for positive change in society.

This landmark agreement between FIFA and the AFD aims to make a lasting difference to communities around the world, as well as ensure that football continues to play an even more important role in sustainable development, educating and empowering the next generation to help build a fairer, more peaceful society.”

AFD CEO Remy Rioux said:

“What better way to build a world in common than by leveraging the unifying power of football? Sport is at the crossroads of all Sustainable Development Goals – including economic growth, women’s empowerment and access to education – yet the worlds of football and development finance have not been linked until now. I am therefore extremely proud that the AFD and FIFA are today launching a unique partnership to promote gender equality and foster education in Africa through football.

As theWomen’s World Cup is about to kick off in France, I am confident that the AFD-FIFA alliance will help to showcase women’s sport as a strategic development objective in Africa. This compelling agreement is already paving the way for inventive solutions on the ground such as “playdagogy” projects designed to ensure that young Africans will not only benefit from the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable development, but also become key advocates of SDGs.

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FIFA Slap Lifetime Ban On Samson Siasia For Taking Bribes

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World Football’s Governing Body, FIFA on Friday issued a lifetime ban on Samson Siasia, former Nigeria Football Federation official after the body’s ethics panel found him guilty of taking bribes in connection with match fixing.

In a statement, the adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said the probe targeting Siasia stemmed from a wider investigation involving Wilson Raj Perumal, who has confessed to international match-fixing.

The probe that began in February found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics,” the statement said.

In addition to being banned from all football related activity for life, Siasia was also handed a fine of 50,000 Swiss francs ($50,000, 46,000 euros).

Siasia, a former striker, also briefly coached Nigeria’s men’s national football team.

FIFA did not detail the nature of ties to Perumal, a Singaporean national who was arrested and jailed in Finland in 2011 for fixing top-tier football games there.

Perumal later collaborated with match fixing investigators.

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FIFA Issues Life Ban To Ex-Bolivian Football Chief

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FIFA on Thursday banned the former treasurer of South America’s football federation for life after an ethics panel found him guilty of bribery. 

Romer Osuna, who also once headed Bolivia’s football federation, was among a group of South American football officials charged with corruption in 2015 amid the unprecedented scandal that triggered sweeping reform within FIFA.

The adjudicatory chamber of FIFA’s independent ethics committee said in a statement that it had investigated a bribery scheme that ran from 2012 to 2015 in which Osuna was accused of “awarding contracts to companies for the media and marketing rights to CONMEBOL competitions.”

“The adjudicatory chamber found that Mr Osuna had breached art. 27 (Bribery) of the 2018 edition of the FIFA Code of Ethics and, as a result, sanctioned him with a ban for life,” it said.

FIFA also fined Osuna 1 million Swiss francs ($1 million, 922,000 euros).

Shortly after he was charged, Osuna had pledged to cooperate with investigators, both in Bolivia and in the United States, who were probing graft within world football.

AFP

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Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk Nominated For UEFA Awards

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Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named candidates for this year’s UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award, European football’s governing body announced on Thursday.

The prize will be awarded to one of the trio during the draw for the Champions League group stage in Monaco on August 29, after they were shortlisted by a jury of coaches and journalists.

England’s Lucy Bronze, Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg and France’s Amandine Henry have been shortlisted for the women’s award. All three play for European champions Lyon.

Van Dijk has joined Messi and Ronaldo, the two iconic players of their generation, on the shortlist after starring in defence for Liverpool as they won a sixth Champions League and came close to winning their first domestic league title in 29 years.

Messi won the first edition of the award in 2011 while Ronaldo has won it on three occasions, in 2014, 2016 and 2017.

Luka Modric is the current holder of the men’s award after winning the Champions League and taking Croatia to the World Cup final in 2018, while Wolfsburg’s Danish striker Pernille Harder bagged the women’s prize.

AFP

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