FIFA launch new child safeguarding initiative
By Ahmed Shooble
Last Updated: 10/07/19 1:10pm
FIFA has launched an "online toolkit" to improve the standards of safeguarding children across the globe.
Based on "five principles and five steps", the FIFA Guardians programme has been developed by an expert working group and it will be introduced to the governing body's members over the next few months.
FIFA's effort to boost safeguarding comes after a string of abuse scandals across global sport, including a number of cases that have rocked British football since 2016.
The governing body faced heavy criticism for how it dealt with the scandal involving senior members of the Afghanistan Football Federation.
The organisation's former president Keramuudin Karim was given a life ban and fined £800,000 by FIFA last month for sexually abusing members of Afghanistan's women's football team.
However, the team's coach Kelly Lindsey and others have claimed Karim was not the only person involved in the abuse and the investigation into the scandal was botched.
FIFA president Gianni Infantino dismissed the claims and indicated Karim was given the most serious sanction available to the federation, but Infantino's response has drawn further criticism from some safeguarding experts, who believe he should be more supportive of whistle-blowers.
On today's announcement, FIFA general secretary Fatma Samoura said: "FIFA has a duty and responsibility to ensure that those who play football can do so in a safe, positive and enjoyable environment.
"Today's launch is a landmark step for FIFA and the world of football in general, and I am confident that the FIFA Guardians programme will help to mobilise action and guide our 211 member associations around the world in reviewing and implementing their own safeguarding measures to keep children safe in football."