Representatives from different FIFA member associations rarely have the opportunity to meet and when they do it is usually down to a competitive clash between their respective national teams. This makes for a tense atmosphere, as victory for one team inevitably means defeat for another. The nature of the game means that when two sides face each other with the same objective in their sights, only one can achieve it.
When the presidents and general secretaries of 21 FIFA member associations from three confederations meet in Amsterdam for the latest FIFA Executive Football Summit on 16 January, the atmosphere will be far more relaxed and open-minded. As with previous events, the delegates will work together to continue shaping the future of world football.
When launching this series of summits in Paris in November 2016, FIFA President Gianni Infantino made it clear that the beautiful game can only develop successfully if FIFA cooperates closely and communicates regularly with its 211 member associations. “It is important that in future the decisions at FIFA are not dictated from the top but really come from those who have to engage with and organise football in their countries every day,” he said.
Since then, 11 strategy summits have been held around the globe in the 2016/2017 series, with approximately 20 member associations discussing predefined topics and inspiring each other at each event. Amsterdam marks the fifth in a series of 12 meetings taking place in 2017/2018.
Representatives from the AFC, CONCACAF and UEFA will meet in the Dutch capital to discuss the FIFA Forward programme, the future of youth and women’s competitions and opportunities for improving the transfer system and international match calendar. They will report on their experiences and country-specific issues and bring themselves up to date on the global game. The summit provides all of the delegates with an opportunity to share their knowledge and coordinate next steps.
With all of the participants sharing the same goal – to promote the game – they meet in the knowledge that their development efforts will ultimately benefit not only their own countries, but the footballing world as a whole.
The following member associations are taking part in the 5th FIFA Executive Football Summit in Amsterdam on 16 January: IR Iran, Kyrgyz Republic, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Anguilla, Aruba, Curacao, Suriname, Austria, Croatia, Estonia, Germany, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Wales, Armenia.