FIFA unveils global education programme to combat abuse

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ZURICH: FIFA has announced the launch of the FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma – a major new global education programme designed to strengthen and professionalise safeguarding standards across football.

In line with FIFA’s long-term commitment to professionalise and embed child and adult safeguarding standards across the game, the FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma is a landmark step in sport and provides the 211 FIFA member associations with a dedicated, interactive educational resource to develop safeguarding best practice.

Speaking about the new programme, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “As part of my and FIFA’s absolute commitment and determination to kick harassment and abuse out of sport, the launch of today’s FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma is another critical step in supporting our 211 member associations to place safeguarding best practice at the heart of football and to help professionalise the role of safeguarding officers in sport.

“Anyone who plays football, or indeed any sport, is entitled to enjoy it in a safe and supportive environment that, first and foremost, protects their well-being, especially where children are concerned. This is the objective of the FIFA Guardians Programme. Today, football is taking another important step in delivering on this objective, as well as on FIFA’s pledge to embed safeguarding measures across our game.”

Following on from the International Day of Education on 24 January, FIFA Legends from around the world, including Kaká, Rio Ferdinand, Lindsay Tarpley, Juan Pablo Ángel and Mbo Mpenza, have joined forces to highlight the importance of safeguarding and are encouraging people across football and other sports to take part.

“It’s up to us to protect and safeguard children in our game. FIFA Guardians is an essential safeguarding programme for anyone working or volunteering in football,” said Kaká.

“Let’s end child abuse in sport. FIFA Guardians is an essential safeguarding programme for anyone working or volunteering in football. Sign up today and learn more about safeguarding best practice,” added Rio Ferdinand.

Developed by FIFA and The Open University (OU) together with global safeguarding experts, practitioners and academics in the field, the FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma is a complete open learning experience that will be available in English, French and Spanish. The programme will consist of five online courses primarily aimed at safeguarding officers at FIFA’s 211 member associations (“FIFA learners”).

FIFA learners will have access to dedicated webinars, moderated forums, interactive workshops and assessments that guide the learner through practical steps and examples of safeguarding best practice in sport.

The first dedicated workshop for FIFA learners is scheduled for the end of February as part of the ongoing two-year curriculum. FIFA learners will be required to complete the full programme to obtain the new FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma.

The five online courses will also be open and freely accessible to other learners who work or volunteer in, support or play sport and want to learn more about safeguarding. If all five courses are successfully completed, participants will be awarded the FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sports Award by the OU.

Participants can choose from three learning pathways, depending on their background, and all 211 FIFA member associations are invited to enrol at least one person for the full FIFA Guardians Safeguarding in Sport Diploma programme.

As of 28 January, participants from the global football community and other sports will be able to undertake course one – FIFA Guardians Safeguarding Essentials.

Launched in July 2019, FIFA Guardians is a dedicated programme developed by FIFA to help and support member associations and confederations around the world in strengthening child and vulnerable adult safeguarding measures across football.

For more information about FIFA Guardians, click here...