World football governing body FIFA and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) have signed a comprehensive memorandum of understanding (MoU) on 2 November 2019 that will see the two organisations join forces to leverage football as a catalyst for social development and healthy lifestyles in the region.
The landmark agreement was signed by FIFA President Gianni Infantino and ASEAN Secretary-General Dato’ Lim Jock Hoi during a special ceremony held on the occasion of the ASEAN summit in Bangkok and witnessed by the leaders of all ASEAN countries.
“It’s a true honour, it’s a true pleasure to be here, I’m very excited about the journey that we are starting today.
“It is our duty and our task to come here, to work together and to invest. To invest in football, in our youth, in your boys and girls because as we know it football is a school of life,” said FIFA President Infantino.
The new 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 marginalised 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.
“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 honour to announce ASEAN’s partnership with FIFA, through the signing of this memorandum of understanding,” said Secretary-General Dato’ Lim.
No mention was made of the region’s bid to host the World Cup in 2034 though.