To mark the completion of the first edition of the Football Executive Programme for the Caribbean initiated in November 2018, FIFA and the International Centre for Sport Studies (CIES), with the support of the University of the West Indies (UWI), held an official graduation ceremony at the UWI in St-Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago. The graduate programme, a new professional development course designed to further enhance football administration across the Caribbean region successfully delivered its first cycle introduced nine months ago.
Incorporating eight modules, the programme mainly focuses on providing senior Caribbean football executives with the necessary knowledge across several key aspects of football administration including strategy, project management, communication, marketing, event management and development.
Aligned with FIFA’s commitment to support and develop football leaders and administrators within Member Associations (MAs), the Football Executive Programme offers a competitive, pluridisciplinar and comprehensive training programme for general secretaries and senior football executives working for the MAs in the CONCACAF region. The academic scheme also includes several intensive practical sessions that enables the stakeholders to benefit from and interact with internationally renowned presenters and experienced professionals, which they will apply within the day-to-day activities of their associations.
During the first part of the day, the graduates presented their projects and answered the queries of the jury and the other participants. The interactive discussions allowed the students to challenge their projects and find solutions to the eventual risks or obstacles involved. To provide more visibility and interactivity to the event, the presentations were live streamed.
A graduation and closing ceremony took place in the evening in the presence of Véron Mosengo-Omba, FIFA Chief Member Associations Officer who congratulated the graduates and expressed his satisfaction: “this successful programme, which was a pilot project, will become a permanent feature and will be disseminated all over the world. The next courses will be held in Dakar, for the French speaking MAs in the region, and later in Port-Elisabeth, for the English speaking ones. We are also delighted to confirm that similar programmes will be soon available for middle management roles. Such courses represent FIFA’s strong commitment to support our MAs through capacity building and professional empowerment.”
The ceremony was attended by Dr. Matteo Tassi, CIES Executive Training Programmes representative, who also shared his gratitude and congratulated the participants and partners involved: “together we have shared our common willingness to advance together, improve football through education and to support its professionalization worldwide. This success also confirms the long-lasting partnership between FIFA, CIES and UWI and our intention to pursue our fruitful collaboration.”
CFU President and CONCACAF Vice President, Randolph Harris, concluded the ceremony by praising the attending graduates and commending FIFA and CIES for their continuous support: “such academic courses create opportunities and help building a common vision among our Caribbean football community. Our region needs professional and educated sports administrators to lead the development agenda and to promote our Caribbean football on the world scene.”
Initiated by FIFA President, Gianni Infantino, following his election in 2016, FIFA Forward is FIFA’s flagship development programme and provides tailor-made assistance, training and development opportunities to players, coaches and administrators around the world.
For more information on FIFA Forward and other FIFA football development programmes, please visit https://www.fifa.com/development/index.html
What we heard from the graduates:
“Quite often we tend to forget that what occurs on the field starts in the offices of the member associations. For FIFA and CIES to recognize that initiative and to support the member associations through such capacity courses represents a tremendous opportunity for our Caribbean member associations. Thanks to this programme, we acquired new valuable skills and challenged the way we implement our daily activities”, Mr Oliver Smith, General Secretary, Turks and Caicos Football Association (TCIFA)
“Thanks to the fruitful collaboration among the participants, we will be able to implement the projects developed throughout this programme in our respective MAs. With the help of all the experts who prepared and delivered the different modules, we identified key aspects that need to be taken into consideration to successfully achieve our mandates. We are grateful and look forward to pursuing this collaboration with FIFA, CIES and the UWI in the Caribbean”, Mr Camara David, General Secretary, Trinidad and Tobago Football Association (TTFA)
“In my opinion the most important aspect of this programme is that it is adapted to each candidate’s profile and professional needs, background and age. This will also help our MA to develop similar programmes for our regional academies and clubs”, Lakeisha Pearson, Competition Clerk, Guyana Football Federation (GFF).