Christ Church, Barbados – Concacaf President and FIFA Vice President Victor Montagliani welcomed FIFA’s fresh footprint into the region, citing the step as a boost to the confederation’s development agenda.
Addressing the official opening of the FIFA Regional Development Office Caribbean in Christ Church, Barbados, on Tuesday, the Concacaf head underscored the added benefit that is expected to accrue from this "important" growth plank.
“The importance of this cannot be understated… it is quite significant, as you know, but it is not only for the support that it will provide to our Member Associations, but what is also important, is the way moving forward in football within Concacaf assisting in coordinating the events and their development efforts,” Montagliani said.
Among those attending Tuesday’s inauguration were FIFA General Secretary Fatma Samoura, Concacaf General Secretary Phillipe Moggio, Barbados Minister of Sport John King, President of the Barbados Football Association Randy Harris, and other regional Presidents.
President Montagliani spoke to the fact that:
“The FIFA office in this region will not only integrate with the Member Associations, but also our regional Concacaf office in Kingston, Jamaica, and obviously with our main office in Miami.
“The primary focus of this office will be development as we know. However, it is very important that this also underpins some of the other things we are doing in our region.
“We know of the great work being done by (Concacaf Director of Development) Jason (Roberts) with NextPlay… and some of these efforts will be coordinated with the FIFA office regionally here as well,” Montagliani also noted.
He told the gathering that while development of the game is multi-faceted in nature, at the end of the day the exercise is aimed at fueling one key factor - competition.
“What this shows is that all this development underpins our competitions, which are taking place now in our region, and these tournaments have not only excited our footballers, but have also raised the bar for accountability for all of us in the region, starting with us as presidents and moving downwards.
“From our Caribbean Club Championship, our Caribbean Club Shield, our Scotiabank Concacaf League, to our Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League and obviously to our Nations League, which starts in September,” he shared.
“FIFA has seen Concacaf grow as an example that we have put football first.
“What is most important about Concacaf even more than football is family and as the Presidents present today have witnessed, our One Concacaf Vision has shown family above all with football first will get us through our hard times and get us to achieving our further goals,” he said.
“Football lives here in Barbados, football lives here in the Caribbean and football, above all, lives here in Concacaf, which makes me very happy and very proud of you (Member Associations).
“I would like to thank the Government (of Barbados) for its support to this (FIFA) office, and as we move forward, it will become an integral piece of our Concacaf family,” Montagliani concluded.