The world governing body of football, FIFA and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) today signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to strengthen their collaboration, with the aim of promoting sports integrity and social responsibility in the region.
The landmark agreement was signed by CARICOM Secretary General Ambassador Irwin La Rocque and FIFA President Gianni Infantino at a virtual ceremony held on Monday.
The MoU focuses on several key areas of collaboration, in particular the implementation of a football programme in the physical education curricula in primary schools in the CARICOM region. Other key focus areas of the agreement include measures for the protection of children and vulnerable adults involved in football activities, the fight against match manipulation and the promotion of sports integrity and social responsibility.
President Infantino said, “We are delighted to enter into this agreement with the Caribbean Community, the aim of which is to leverage our sport as a catalyst for social development in the region. Football has an incredible following in the Caribbean and there is still great potential for additional growth. I am very happy to see that the countries understand the opportunities this brings in terms of social benefits for their communities and we are looking forward to working hand in hand with them around this common goal.”
LaRocque was full of praises for the partnership, he said, “said. “Many of our Member States have established developmental programmes using sports as a transformative agent. The social, health and economic benefits of sport is well appreciated and supported in our Region.” He added, “The partnership with organisations such as FIFA assists in furthering our goals of encouraging our youth, in particular, to pursue healthy lifestyles while enjoying the benefits of a sport like football.”
CONCACAF President and FIFA Vice President, Victor Montagliani said, “Football is a unifying force that promotes social development, transcending all types of barriers, to the benefit of our societies.”
Barbados head coach and former T&T standout midfielder Russell Latapy commented, “I appreciate the efforts of FIFA and CARICOM to invest in football development because a safer environment for our children is also a safer environment for football across the board and everyone involved.”