FIFA Forward report confirms massive boost to football development worldwide

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (23 December 2023) – FIFA made approximately USD 2.8 billion available to the 211 FIFA Member Associations (MAs), the six confederations, and the various zonal/regional associations, and funded more than 1,600 specific projects with long-term impact on football development during the first seven years of FIFA Forward, according to the global report into the programme.

Established in 2016 after Gianni Infantino took office as FIFA President, and with the express aim of giving everyone around the world the chance to play football, the FIFA Forward programme has made a significant contribution to football development activities since its launch.

“We pledged that revenues generated by football would be used for the benefit of our sport all around the world, for girls and boys, women and men, and we were as good as our word,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Investment in football is both our responsibility and our obligation, and through FIFA Forward we have the structure to do that in a viable and transparent way. The outcome has been a sevenfold increase in investment since 2016 – during a spell in which FIFA’s revenues have only doubled. This shows that funding is not only being delivered correctly but it is being monitored and implemented to ensure the sustainable development of football for the long term.”

Global report shows approximately USD 2.8 billion made available between 2016 and 2022

FIFA Forward has funded over 1,600 specific projects between 2016 and 2022, of which approximately one-third relate to football infrastructure

FIFA Forward 3.0 to deliver more impact through increased investment of up to USD 8 million available per Member Association from 2023 to 2026

The report outlines that 80% of the investment across FIFA Forward 1.0 and 2.0 from 2016 to 2022 – more than USD 2.24 billion – was made directly to MAs both to make an essential contribution to the operations of football development activities and to enable investment in specific projects with a long-term impact on football development.

It breaks down the investments between 2016 to 2022 into eight categories. Administration and Governance used USD 448.8 million as the biggest investment area across the 211 MAs, closely followed by Infrastructure (USD 415.2 million). National Teams (USD 357.5 million), Competitions (USD 186.1 million), and Equipment and Others (USD 181.1 million) saw significant funds dedicated to them, as did Women’s Football (USD 110.9 million) and Capacity Development (USD 86.8 million). Football operating expenses and unused funds (USD 135.6 million) accounted for the remainder of the global sum.

The funds invested resulted in no fewer than 577 new pitches being laid and 208 new competitions established, directly providing more than 300,000 women and men around the world with new opportunities to play the game they love.

“Through the Forward Programme, FIFA works every day with every single member association to develop football and this continuous activity at every level is what underpins the success of our sport and the impact that we are seeing through Forward will help to safeguard this success for future generations,” added FIFA Secretary General ad interim Mattias Grafström.

From 2023, FIFA Forward 3.0 promises to deliver more improvements than ever before with each MA eligible to receive up to USD 8 million per four-year cycle, with additional funding available for confederations and zonal or regional associations. As per previous iterations of the programme, FIFA also provides specialised, locally-based know-how, and ensures compliance with its enhanced oversight controls to maximise the benefit of all funding. –