Road To Affiliation: Part One

The journey has already begun as Nauru embark on what is being described as mission impossible as they bid to become a FIFA Affiliated Member. Taking into account that the tiny Micronesian island has never even played a football match, mission impossible might be considered unimaginable or as one local resident from Nauru put it: that’s utter madness!

In the first part we look at FIFA as an organization.

Just in case you’ve been loving on the moon..

FIFA was founded in 1904 to oversee international competition among the national associations of Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain (represented by the Madrid Football Club), Sweden, and Switzerland. Headquartered in Zürich, Switzerland, its membership now comprises 211 national associations. These national associations must also be members of one of the six regional confederations into which the world is divided: CAF (Africa), AFC (Asia and Australia), UEFA (Europe), CONCACAF (North & Central America and the Caribbean), OFC (Oceania), and CONMEBOL (South America). Nauru would fall under the Oceania umbrella due to its geographical location.

Breaking FIFA down into numbers…

In total, FIFA recognizes 211 national associations and their associated men’s national teams as well as 129 women’s national teams; see the list of national football teams and their respective country codes. The number of FIFA member associations is higher than the number of UN member states as FIFA has admitted associations from 23 non-sovereign entities as members in their own right, such as the four Home Nations within the United Kingdom and the two special administrative regions of China: Hong Kong and Macau. The

AFC; 47 members

CAF; 54 members

ONCACAF; 41 members)

(CONMEBOL; 10 members)

OFC; 13 members)

(UEFA; 55 members)

More than just football…..

FIFA launched the slogan “For The Game, For The World” clearly wanting to project the image that they’re more than a company that organizes football tournaments. They’re responsible for the world’s most popular sport being impactful in society, global leaders in change and a representation of humankind.

On the field FIFA ensures the game is always looking at new ways to improve. Any rule changes, competition restructuring and player of the year awards are governed by FIFA.

In the next part of the series we take a look at FIFA member associations and the history of the program.