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FIFA to invest $4 billion in football development over next 10 years

October 14, 5:07 UTC+3 ZURICH
The FIFA Council is holding its meeting October 13-14 in the organization’s headquarters in Zurich
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ZURICH, October 13. /TASS/. The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) will allocate $4 billion over the next 10 years to FIFA’s member associations, according to FIFA’s roadmap presented at the organization’s Council meeting.

"FIFA President Gianni Infantino has today unveiled "FIFA 2.0: The Vision for the Future" - the first time in FIFA’s history that it has published a roadmap for how to most effectively grow the game, enhance the football experience for fans and players and build a stronger institution," a FIFA media release said.

"We live in a time that presents us with a wealth of opportunities to make the beautiful game bigger, better and more meaningful to the world," Infantino said during the FIFA Council meeting at the Home of FIFA. "Our vision - to promote the game, protect its integrity and bring the game to all - will set the path forward for our work."

"A three-part strategy supports this vision," he said. "We will invest in the game, its players and its future; we will innovate to improve the player and fan experience; and we will take greater ownership of the business operations for our showcase events. This will enable us to deliver on our commitment to the game and its billions of fans."

President Infantino said the work planned under the new vision demonstrates the far-reaching nature of the change underway at FIFA.

"As part of this work, FIFA will invest USD 4 billion over the next decade in football development through FIFA’s 211 member associations under the FIFA Forward Programme and additional funding initiatives," the statement said.

FIFA will also "increase total participation in football - players, coaches, referees and fans - from 45 to 60% of the global population" and "set the goal of doubling, to 60 million, the number of female football players worldwide by 2026 through the development and execution of a strategy to bring women’s football to the mainstream".

It will also "change the current model to take more direct control of critical business operations, including FIFA World Cup ticketing and FIFA World Cup organising activities, and establish working groups to evaluate the process of bringing the operations in house, to better ensure optimal financial returns and customer satisfaction, as well as the highest standards of transparency and good governance".

FIFA also announced that "as part of the USD 4 billion budgeted for the FIFA Forward Development Programme, FIFA will provide its member associations with more than USD 100 million on an annual basis to professionalise football administration, which will include critical investment in governance, compliance and operations to ensure best-in-class efficiency and performance."

"Over the next decade, FIFA will commit up to USD 315 million for member associations to incentivise investment in the development of the women’s game, including funds for the successful organisation of girls’ leagues, women’s professional leagues, and the creation of a development strategy for the women’s game. This is in addition to the resources committed through the new and fully developed Women’s Football Division," the statement said.

"FIFA will work with the confederations on club licensing, a set of minimum operational standards in key areas such as stadium safety and youth development, all ultimately focused on helping grow and professionalise club football around the world," it said.

 Control of the ticketing system

The International Federation of Association Football (FIFA) will strengthen control of the ticketing system for matches of the 2018 FIFA World Cup due to be held in Russia, the organization said in a press release.

"Strengthening of FIFA’s control, approval and audit rights with the external ticketing agency already contracted for the FIFA World Cup in 2018 has been completed," the statement said.

"FIFA will change the ticketing operations for FIFA competitions as a means of developing closer relationships with the fans, ensuring the quality of the fan’s ticketing experience, and realising the full potential of the gate revenues associated with FIFA’s showcase competitions," it said.

"FIFA will either bring the operations in house or establish a new ticketing subsidiary that will be under FIFA’s control, fundamentally changing how ticketing has historically been managed. FIFA has today created a working group to consider the most efficient and effective structure ahead of the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar," the statement said.

The date to start sale of tickets for the 2018 World Cup will be defined in 2017 after the Confederations Cup.

Russia won the bid to host the 2018 World Cup at the FIFA Congress in Guatemala on December 4, 2010 in a tight race against the bid from England, the joint bid from Portugal and Spain and the joint bid on behalf of Belgium and the Netherlands.

Russia is currently in full-swing preparations for the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The country selected 11 host cities to be the venues for the matches of the 2018 World Cup and they are Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, Saransk, Kaliningrad, Volgograd, Rostov-on-Don, Nizhny Novgorod, Yekaterinburg and Samara.

The matches of the 2018 World Cup will be held between June 14 and July 15 at 12 stadiums located in the 11 mentioned above cities across Russia. Two of the stadiums are located in Russia’s capital.

The FIFA Council is holding its meeting October 13-14 in the organization’s headquarters in Zurich.

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