FIFA starts children safeguard program in soccer
The FIFA logo is pictured at the Home of FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland, Jan. 10, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/ENNIO LEANZA
Fatma Samoura, FIFA General Secretary, speaks to media during the opening press conference of the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in the Saint Petersburg stadium, St. Petersburg, Russia, June 16, 2017. EPA-EFE FILE/GEORGI LICOVSKI
London, Jul 10 (efe-epa).- FIFA announced the launch of a new plan on Wednesday that aims to put an end to child abuse and protect underage rights in soccer.
The international governing body named the program "FIFA Guardians," which aims to raise global awareness about child-labor abuse through a series of training modules and workshops, with the cooperation of its member associations and confederations.
FIFA presented the new initiative during a press conference in London on Wednesday, revealing that the organization wants the program to be fully implemented across the world within the next year.
FIFA Guardians aims to find solutions to child exploitation, which affects thousands of youngsters, and to apply the new program across all soccer levels in a bid to reach all teams.
"FIFA's vision is to promote the game of football, protect its integrity and bring the game to all," the organization's secretary general Fatma Samoura said at the event.
"In realizing this vision, we aim to ensure that involvement in football, in any form, is a positive experience for all children."
"FIFA has a duty and responsibility to ensure that those who play football can do so in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment," the former Senegalese diplomat added.
FIFA chief member associations officer, Joyce Cook, said: "FIFA's new child safeguarding toolkit builds on the confidential reporting structures and safeguarding frameworks FIFA already has in place and provides clear and practical guidance for our member associations and their stakeholders."
Following the program's presentation by Samoura, a round table was organized with the participation of several notable figures involved in the fight against child abuse, including Gloria Viseras, a former Olympic gymnast who has claimed that she was sexually abused by her coach.
Viseras said that abuse exists every day in sport and it is something that causes permanent pain for each victim throughout his or her life.
She added that protecting children is essential, in addition to educating them about the values of sport, because playing a sport is essential for each child's development. EFE-EPA