The Council of Europe and the world’s governing football body, FIFA, inked a landmark deal on strengthening future cooperation in areas of common areas, according to FIFA’s statement, TASS reports.
"Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjorn Jagland and FIFA President Gianni Infantino have today signed a Memorandum of Understanding at the Palais de l’Europe in Strasbourg to strengthen the cooperation between the two institutions and further develop synergies and partnerships in areas of shared interest," the statement reads.
According to FIFA, the signed landmark agreement has a focus on four main areas of cooperation between the Council of Europe and the global football organization.
The four areas at the issue are: "Human Rights, Integrity and Good Governance in sport; Safety and Security at Football Matches; Mutual dialogue and Co-operation in view of Major Sport Events; and Institutional Co-operation through regular exchanges of views, good practices and the development of joint initiatives and co-ordination of operational activities."
As the document was about to be signed, FIFA President Infantino said: "With this Memorandum of Understanding and a concrete action plan for 2019, our collaboration is institutionalized and has become more concrete and measurable."
"It is a natural relationship, as we share common values and goals: transparency, accountability, integrity, safety in sport and respect for human rights, for children’s rights," Infantino said. "It is in the best interest of football for all relevant entities to work together and enhance the power of the beautiful game to change lives."
Council of Europe Secretary General Jagland said in turn that "Sport plays a pivotal role in connecting people, favoring inclusion and enhancing the social fabric by promoting Council of Europe key values."
"We advocate fair play and respect in sport to be safe, ethical and accessible to all, in order to contribute towards building inclusive and democratic societies respecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law," Jagland said. "This includes the growing concern of safeguarding children from sexual abuse in sport. Council of Europe expertise will be very valuable in this context.".