FIFA launches anti-doping programme

FIFA has launched an Executive Programme in Anti-Doping, which aims to provide analysis on the regulatory, institutional and scientific aspects to anti-doping in sport.

The programme was launched on Tuesday and the first edition of the Executive Programme in Anti-Doping will take place from February to July 2021. The programme has been launched in cooperation with the International Centre for Sports Studies.

Lawyers, doctors or sports administrators from international or national federations are eligible to participate in FIFA’s programme.

FIFA said that programme would benefit participants as it provides in-depth analysis of institutional and regulatory framework of anti-doping as well as an introduction to the scientific aspects to anti-doping.

The academic directors for the programme are Dr. Emilio Garcia Silvero, FIFA’s Chief Legal Officer and Prof. Antonio Rigozzi, who is a Partner at Geneva based law firm Lévy Kaufmann-Kohler and a Professor at the University of Neuchatel Law School.

“Since the establishment of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) back in 1999, the fight against doping in sport has evolved dramatically. The interaction between the WADA Code, Sports Governing Bodies regulations and national legislation has led a considerable complexity in this field,” FIFA said in a statement on its website.

“Handling a doping case either at the result management stage or before the judicial bodies of a national or international federation or the Court of Arbitration for Sport requires a holistic approach.

“While the FIFA Executive Programme in Anti-doping is mainly focused on the legal and institutional aspects of the anti-doping landscape, a basic approach over the most relevant scientific aspects of this complex phenomenon is also provided.”

The programme is made of three modules which focus on different aspects of anti-doping. Modules 1 and 2 will be held online while the third module takes place at the FIFA HQ in Zurich, Switzerland.

Module 1 takes place between 4-7 February 2021 – this module covers areas such as the history of anti-doping, the prohibited list of substances and testing strategies and anti-doping control.

Module 2 will occur between 22-25 April 2021 and focuses on topics such as the role of laboratories and first instance hearings.

The third module at FIFA HQ will run between 1-4 July 2021, subject to international travel restrictions easing. This module explores topics such as sanctions, appeal proceedings and the future challenges of anti-doping

Tuition fees for this course have been set as $1,200 USD. The admission process is currently open and closes on 19 December. 24 participants will be selected to participate in the programme.

Daniel Foley is a sports junior journalist with Soccerscene. He reports widely on football policy and micro industry matters.

Football SA extending Development Centres throughout regional and metropolitan areas

Football SA Development Centres

Football South Australia (SA) announced the expansion of its Development Centres for boys and girls from ages nine to 13.

This expansion will offer more football and more opportunities for players in the Barossa, Noarlunga, Port Lincoln and Metropolitan Adelaide.

The five new centres add to the four currently located in the Limestone Coast, Whyalla, Riverland and the Adelaide Hills, taking the total up to nine centres in 2024.

Much of the talk has been the incredible impact that the home soil FIFA Women’s World Cup has had on football participation in the country across all age groups. There has been a notable uptick in player participation in regional areas , registering a 16.5% increase. Across the entire state, there is overall growth of 9%.

The key goal of the Football SA Development Centres expansion is to lay the grassroots foundation in place and create a suitable environment for kids so that their talent is recognised and captured by coaches.

These added sessions as a result of the expansion are designed not to conflict with existing club activities and will enhance players’ fundamental footballing skills.

Football SA Technical Director Michael Cooper touched on the opportunity this opens up for player development at the early ages.

“When we started the original program in 2023, we had the vision to implement a state-wide program that provides equal opportunities for players to progress to our State programs and offerings, which are highly regarded nationally,” Cooper said via Football SA press release.

“Taking our programs to regional South Australia has prevented the need for young players to travel week in week out to Adelaide for specialised coaching. This illustrates our support for regional associations and pathways we collectively offer.

“We are excited to see all players come together at events such as the State Development Carnival in July and I am confident more players will be identified from regional areas in the future.”

An issue Football South Australia touched on in their 2023-2026 Strategic Plan was the lack of regional players making the transition into state and regional squads.

The key function of Football SA, as mentioned on their website, has always been player development and to increase participation. This Development Centre expansion will service the regional communities and allow potential talented players, who weren’t recognised before, to grow through a natural pathway up until they represent state squads.

Cádiz CF outlines plan for new sports technology centre

Cádiz Sportech City

LALIGA football club Cádiz CF has unveiled plans to construct a brand-new sports technology centre which will be known as ‘Sportech City’.

The centre is expected to deliver significant results in the sports technology industry, and assert Cádiz’s position in the top-flight of Spanish football.

In addition, the centre aims to make a positive impact in areas outside of the football club, most notably in health and education. A short video released on its official YouTube channel helped outline the proposed facilities within Sportech City.

These include:

  • A 7,500-square-metre data centre.
  • A dedicated sports university.
  • 5,600 square metres dedicated to laboratories and prototype validation for user experience.
  • An events/congress centre.
  • A technological business incubator centre with 6,100 square metres of offices.
  • Health and medical services.
  • A designated retail zone.

Sportech City is the latest plan to be announced since La Liga introduced its ‘Impulso’ agreement with CVC Capital Partners in 2021. The agreement provided nearly two billion euros (3.3 million AUD) for Spanish football clubs to invest in technology, innovation, internationalisation, and sporting growth initiatives.

Plans for the centre are being coordinated between the club and professional services firm KPMG, who believe the centre will stimulate the local economy. It is estimated that 4,000 jobs will be created for the construction of Sportech City alone, with a further 2,900 jobs expected for the running of the centre.

According to sources within the club, Cádiz CF hopes to generate a minimum of 15 million euros (24.7 million AUD) per year once it begins operation.

Cádiz CF, like many clubs that sit beneath the traditional giants of Spanish football, have suffered a turbulent off-field history.

However, under president Manuel Vizcaíno’s stewardship since 2019, the club attracted overseas investment which helped them return to the top-flight of Spanish football for just the fourth time in its 123-year existence.

Sportech City is hoped to be the next initiative under an ambitious Vizcaíno that will bring success not just to the football club, but to the city of Cádiz.

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