CARICOM and FIFA enter collaborative agreement
GEORGETOWN – CARICOM and football’s world governing body, FIFA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen their collaboration, with the aim of promoting sports integrity and social responsibility while furthering the development of the sport in the Caribbean.
The landmark agreement was signed by CARICOM secretary general, Ambassador Irwin LaRocque and FIFA president, Gianni Infantino during a virtual ceremony attended by ministers of government, the presidents of the national football associations of CARICOM countries, as well as CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani.
The MoU focuses on several key areas of collaboration, in particular the implementation of a football programme in the physical education curricula in primary schools in the CARICOM region.
LaRocque said CARICOM welcomed the partnership with FIFA because many of its member states have established developmental programmes using sports as a transformative agent.
“The social, health and economic benefits of sport is well appreciated and supported in our region,” he said.
“The partnership with organisations such as FIFA assists in furthering our goals of encouraging our youth, in particular, to pursue healthy lifestyles while enjoying the benefits of a sport like football.”
FIFA, together with its member associations, will provide support for the development of football training, competitions and the training of football coaches, officials and administrators along with physical education teachers.
Infantino said FIFA was delighted to enter into the agreement and to leverage the sport as a catalyst for social development.
“Football has an incredible following in the Caribbean and there is still great potential for additional growth,” he said.
“I am very happy to see that the countries understand the opportunities this brings in terms of social benefits for their communities and we are looking forward to working hand in hand with them around this common goal.”
In a statement during the ceremony, Barbados Tridents head coach and former Trinidad & Tobago Soca Warriors midfield general, Russell Latapy said: “I appreciate the efforts of FIFA and CARICOM to invest in football development because a safer environment for our children is also a safer environment for football across the board and everyone involved.”
Other key focus areas of the agreement include measures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults involved in football activities, the fight against match manipulation and the promotion of sports integrity and social responsibility.
“The integrity of sport, and football in particular, in our region is a top priority for FIFA and CONCACAF, and I can only welcome this partnership,” Montagliani said.
“It will benefit the whole Caribbean region and support us in our extensive efforts to develop the game at all levels.
“Football is a unifying force that promotes social development, transcending all types of barriers, to the benefit of our societies.”