Child safeguarding programme and toolkit launched by FIFA

A new initiative created by FIFA has been put in place to help protect all children involved in the game, something that Australians are part of.

With many people picking up the game of soccer from a young age – playing through organised competition and for fun, following a favourite team or even showing some interest in coaching or refereeing. With millions of children being invested in the sport, FIFA has identified that keeping them safe is of upmost importance.

The new safeguarding programme FIFA Guardians™ will deliver appropriate standards in order to protect children and allow them to be in a safe environment.

As one of the 211 FIFA Member associations, Football Federation Australia (FFA) will be required to review its current policy regarding child protection, feeding down to the A-League and state competitions around the country.

The main idea is to be on full alert for any instances where a child’s safety is put at risk, for example crowd behaviour that could escalate when tensions rise outside the playing arena.

FIFA has confirmed via a media release that the programme will slowly be implemented:

“The FIFA Guardians programme will be rolled out in the coming months through a series of training modules and workshops to promote global awareness and its implementation in all FIFA MAs and by working together with the confederations.”

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Liam Watson is the Co-Founder & Publisher of Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy, industry matters and technology.

Preston Lions add Boss Designer Gardens & Landscaping to their array of sponsorships

Preston Lions

Preston Lions are making quite the portfolio within their sponsorship contingent, the club has continued to align themselves with thoroughly equipped businesses entity’s both state and nationwide.

Preston are renowned for their unequivocal niche supporter base who have been on the rollercoaster journey since their early humble beginnings.

The club have had dates with destiny across Victorian competitions on four occasions, with their recent state top flight victory occurring in 2007. In the 1987 National Soccer League season where the club finished second in the nationwide top flight of football.

Within the illustrious sponsorship contingent the Lions are accumulating in their efforts to be involved and competitive in the upcoming second national tier, are a subgenre of sponsors who live and breathe the club.

Encompassing the rich history and lifeblood of the club is none other than Boss Landscaping Chief Executive Officer, Steve Spacevski.

Steve throughout his entire life has been immersed within the Lavovi, he represented the club in the late 70s as a reserves player. Despite his short lived playing tenure, his support for the club remains unmatched till this day.

Boss Landscapes are a comprehensive landscaping service operating throughout the north and west sides of Melbourne. It was on a landscaping jobsite where Preston President David Cvetkovski had offered Steve the proposal of joining the clubs sponsorship regime.

Steve without hesitation believed the partnership was a “no brainer”. He amongst the tight-knit Lions community have an ambitious goal at heart. The clubs tenure at a top-flight level have transpired in those synonymous with the club, to reignite the fire in competing within the nation’s highest level.

“To go back to the top league, Where Preston belong. From the National Soccer League days, building towards a future and finding success in the second tier league is important,” Spacevski said.

Spacevski associates success with the nourishment of the clubs lifeblood with Its community.

“We want everyone to come to games, we want the whole family to come to B.T Connor on a Friday or Saturday, whenever it may be. We want it to be a family affair,” he said.

Moving forward as a club the sponsorship contingent are contributing to the clubs prospects of innovating and creating new facilities throughout B.T Connor Reserve. With the past fuelling the present, Spacevski represents the community soul the club possesses.

“We are building as a family. Not to forget the past, but to build towards the future with it in mind,” he said.

Stemming from bottom all the way to the top, Spacevski highlighted the unique point of difference which gives himself and his fellow sponsorship partners a sense of confidence upon the clubs second tier venture.

“At the moment the people that are on the board, from the president all the way down. The vibe and communication is that everyone has the same goal,” he explained.

“Its not just at the top, it’s across the board. Investment into juniors, women’s and men’s programs, there’s no sacrificing one to build the other.”

The Lions have remained a club within Australian football who have sustained diehard support throughout the roller coaster journey it has embarked upon. With the ride heading into a new pathway, sponsors like Steve Spacevski are the fabric of a sports club.

Passion personified through Macedonian culture, the sponsorship agreement between Boss Landscapes and the Preston Lions is what symbolises Victorian football heritage.

AFC Technical Committee create new awards to improve standards

The AFC Technical Committee had its second meeting last weekend in Doha, Qatar on the eve of the AFC U23 Asian Cup Qatar 2024 Final between Japan and Uzbekistan.

The official AFC meeting outlines new initiatives on awarding development and solidifying supportive structures.

In conjunction with the overall rise in Women’s football within the AFC’s associations and the wider FIFA football community, The AFC has decided to unveil the new accolade of the AFC Women’s International Player of the Year Award.

The eligibility criteria include that applicants:

  • Must be Asian
  • Playing in the leagues of other Confederations
  • Have recorded significant achievements for country or club

There has also been an adapted criteria for the existing AFC Women’s Player of the Year. Similarly, they must be Asian and a regular national team player, specifically in the AFC competitions, and any of the AFC’s Member Associations (MAs) leagues.

The goalkeeper position has also been given due recognition with the Goalkeeper of the Tournament Award in the revamped AFC Champions League Elite – Final Stage, which commences from the 2024/25 season.

These initiatives are important for the AFC acknowledging crucial technical roles in the footballing scene. These individual awards give the incentive for further support for women and goalkeeping by officially elevating their status in the AFC.

Also, there was the support of structured initiatives within the AFC, including the ‘Positive Play’ campaign – promoting attractive football for players, coaches and supporters endorsing the expectation of positive future playing styles. This is especially prominent in the upcoming AFC youth competition with the winning team receiving a certificate of achievement.

On the topic of youth and growth, the AFC Elite Youth Scheme and AFC grassroots charter have also received updates and growing drive, including importantly newly updated regulations for the AFC Coaching Convention.

However, these decisions need to be further ratified by the AFC Executive Committee. This is a promising statement that the AFC Technical Committee is strategising large investments in increasing standards throughout all levels of the AFC’s MAs.

This meeting should also intrigue keen investors, shareholders and clubs in the AFC Technical Committees objective to encourage development means they are willing to reward. financially and strategically. This supports their aim to achieve higher standards and results on and off the field.

It’s an encouraging sign of evolution in the Asian football schedule and an ambitious push by the AFC.

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