The FIFA Forward Workshop for East Asian Member Associations (MAs) was held in Tokyo from 15th to 19th May. The three-day program was attended by General Secretaries and Forward Managers of the East Asian MAs. Each member association has access to a funding of 8 million US dollars through the FIFA Forward 3.0 program to support the development of the game in terms of practical knowledge and capacity building.
FIFA and the Japan Football Association (JFA) – along with gratitude to the FIFA Council member and JFA President, Kozo Tashima – hosted a four-day workshop in Tokyo for the East Asian MAs with the main objective of how the FIFA Forward program can assist in enhancing and advancing the game through funding, guidance, and support.
FIFA aims to ensure that each MA has three key infrastructures: an international class stadium capable of hosting international matches, their own headquarters, and a national training center. During the workshop, each MA was able to learn how FIFA Forward funding has already contributed to improving facilities and basic structures in the region through various ‘Best Practices’.
Practice Cases and Studies were conducted, and partners also received proposals regarding FIFA’s different initiatives and available assistance, including integrity, digital skills, talent development schemes, and the advancement of women’s football.
Under the Forward 1.0 and 2.0 cycles, FIFA has already invested over 80 million USD in the East Asian MAs. The region has witnessed the successful implementation of 43 Forward projects, which have made improvements from basic structures to the use of technology, enhancing competition. In Japan, a project that included four matches across three age groups saw an increase in the number of professional players between 2019 and 2022.
In 2021 alone, J-League clubs signed 25 players, and 32 players received calls from Japanese youth national teams from the U18 Premier League. As part of the workshop, the attending MAs also had the opportunity to visit the JFA’s National Training Center, a remarkable and inspiring experience.