Few were prepared for what became the biggest global emergency of our time and FIFA’s role as the guardians of the game became even more crucial, as football stopped being played and many involved in the sport faced an uncertain future.
The FIFA COVID-19 Relief Fund has helped to protect and preserve football around the world and allowed our member associations (MAs) and the confederations to literally keep the ball rolling.
Through our dedicated funding for women’s football, as part of the relief programme, we have been able to ensure that the momentum generated by the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019™ has not been lost and women’s football will not become a casualty of the pandemic.
Despite the numerous challenges we all faced in 2020, thankfully FIFA was able to go ahead with many of its everyday operations, albeit more remotely.
The rolling out of the new Women’s Development Programme and many other projects through the FIFA Forward Programme aimed at nurturing and empowering all members of our football community are among these operations.
We also introduced an ambitious new initiative that embodies The Vision 2020-2023, the FIFA Talent Development Programme, led by our Chief of Global Football Development, Arsène Wenger. It aims to analyse the football ecosystem in each of the 211 MAs and assist each one in mapping out a strategy to build on its strengths.
This practical initiative is a positive step towards FIFA’s goal of raising the standards of football globally and ensuring that each young talent has an opportunity to shine.
Throughout 2020, FIFA displayed its commitment to transparency and good governance, and the strict conditions for use of the FIFA COVID-19 Relief Plan are testament to this.
Since its inception, FIFA has published – down to the dollar – the exact amounts received by each MA and confederation, which can be found at the end of this report. Meanwhile, we have made the FIFA Forward Programme more transparent still, with the publication of the Forward Impact Map on FIFA.com giving a visual insight into the allocation of funds and how they are used.
Of course, one of the most difficult parts of 2020 was the physical isolation with which we all had to contend due to distancing restrictions. Although we could not host the FIFA Congress with delegates physically present, as many of our interactions with you have been through webcams and screens in previous years, we have managed to remain united in our shared goal of protecting, preserving and developing football, the game we all love, now perhaps more than ever before.
I am proud to say that despite the challenges and difficulties that FIFA, the MAs and the confederations all faced in 2020, we performed as one strong and united team and we will continue to show that solidarity and resilience stand the test of time despite trying circumstances.
FIFA Secretary General