The world governing body for football, FIFA has inked a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to leverage football as a catalyst for social development and a healthy lifestyle in the region.
The comprehensive MoU is signed by FIFA president Gianni Infantino and Asean secretary-general Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi at an ASEAN summit in Bangkok. As part of the deal, both FIFA and ASEAN will invest in the field of education. FIFA’s Football for Schools program will work in the region to promote physical education.
“It is our duty and our task to work together and to invest in football, in our youth, in your boys and girls because as we know it football is a school of life,” said Infantino.
“Football, and sport, in general, is a strategic means for bringing people together, promoting greater people-to-people connectivity, and making ASEAN even stronger as one community. As mandated by all ten ASEAN Member States, it is my honor to announce ASEAN’s partnership with FIFA, through the signing of this memorandum of understanding,” added Secretary-General Dato’ Lim.
The MoU covers a broad range of collaboration areas with a strong focus on education, in particular through the implementation of FIFA’s Football for Schools Programme to foster life skills and physical education through football for boys and girls in schools across the Southeast Asian region.
The alliance will also see FIFA and ASEAN collaborate in the implementation of common strategies to promote healthy lifestyles and inclusive participation in football, particularly for women and marginalized communities.
Other key focus areas of the cooperation will be the promotion of child safeguarding in football as well as the advancement of sports integrity by increasing awareness of clean and fair play, the fight against match manipulation and anti-doping.