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FIFA, AFC reps observe NMIFA Congress

Updated: Nov 26, 2021

Representatives from the Fédération Internationale de Football Association observed the proceedings of the 11th Northern Mariana Islands Football Association Ordinary Congress held last Friday at the NMSA Conference Room. It’s the first time in the history of the NMIFA that FIFA representatives observed the congress.

Joining the congress virtually were FIFA Head of MA Governance Rolf Tanner and FIFA Development Officer Lavin Vignesh. As in previous years, representatives from the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) in Kuala Lumpur also observed the congress. Yosuke Mihara, AFC Head for East Asia Unit, MA and Regional Association Department, and Bowen Ying, Executive for East Asia Unit, AFC MA Division, joined Tanner and Vignesh in addressing the assembly.

In the historic event, the FIFA and AFC officials took note of NMIFA’s efforts to hold football activities amid the COVID-19 pandemic and practice the principles of good governance.

“We see a community that has been actively involved in football development and it’s a very good thing. You have exciting plans and projects and I wish you the best of luck in football development in the future,” said the Zurich, Switzerland-based Tanner, adding that FIFA has received the NMIFA’s application for membership.

During the congress, the NMIFA showcased its regular activities involving grassroots, youth, women’s, and men’s players, its development programs for coaches and referees, and the association’s participation in social responsibility activities.

Vignesh, who joined the virtual congress from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, also commended NMIFA for doing a lot of things despite of the challenges brought about by the pandemic. The NMIFA, in June last year, safely resumed national team training and when the restrictions were eased this year, the association also managed to bring back its regular leagues and even hosted summer competitions.

Meanwhile, Mihara, who is a regular observer in the NMIFA congress, was pleased with the association’s adoption of the statute changes approved in the 2020 congress, including the implementation of an electoral code. He also acknowledged the transparency that the NMIFA has shown in its detailed financial statement and other reports.

NMIFA president Jerry Tan thanked Mihara, Ying, Vignesh, and Tanner for their attendance at the congress and for the encouraging words that will further motivate NMIFA to stay on course in growing the sport in the CNMI and providing opportunities to all stakeholders.

NMIFA Executive Committee member and Superior Court Associate Judge Wesley Bogdan, who delivered the closing remarks at the congress, added that with the strong support from the local and international communities and the CNMI government, the NMIFA will continue to see the love for football in the faces of players and others involved in the program. (PR)

Published by Saipan Tribune - Nov 04 2021


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