FIFA cottons on to sports apparel initiative to rebalance economics in Africa’s favour

February 27 – FIFA and the World Trade Organisation have reaffirmed their commitment to Cotton-4 plus African Countries in a bid to promote sustainable development via the global football economy.

Speaking at the 13th WTO Ministerial Conference in Abu Dhabi, FIFA president Gianni Infantino committed to introducing Cotton-4 products into programmes run by his organisation.

In September 2022, FIFA and the WTO formalised their collaboration through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The partnership seeks to analyse the economic influence of football, understanding its role in releasing global economic growth potential by exploring capacity-building initiatives that enhance football’s potential with a particular emphasis on aligning with the WTO’s cotton program.

“Together with the WTO and other partners, FIFA wants to do something real, something concrete, something impactful, and something that will have an influence on the life of many people,” said Infantino. “We want to create jobs. We want to help in the fight against poverty. We want to empower women – especially in these countries – and this is something that we need to pursue and push.

“FIFA is an association in which 211 countries are members of from all over the world,” Infantino added. “The big countries, the big clubs, have their own producers for apparel, but many others from all over the world struggle to find somebody who produces jerseys and so on for them. We want to support them where needed through this partnership with the WTO.

The plan is to increase the field-to-fabric cycle within the C4+ nations, stimulating their economies and enhancing their share in sport apparel market revenues.

“The economic value in the sport is so underappreciated. It’s an exciting potential that we have not really tapped on the continent. 70% of the income is generated in Europe, and this must be expanded to other regions. We have to get some of this back into Africa; we absolutely must!” said WTO Director-General  Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Contact the writer of this story, Harry Ewing, at moc.l1713514341labto1713514341ofdlr1713514341owedi1713514341sni@g1713514341niwe.1713514341yrrah1713514341