The cases of abuse in football in the last decade drew global interest and attention from the football industry. This article discusses ten football safeguarding trends that I think will dominate the next ten years:
- Football Safeguarding Legislation will be enacted to provide legal consensus within the football governing bodies on how to address abuse in football.
Football Safeguarding Legislations are the governance guidelines for the football safeguarding ecosystem. The next ten years will bring together leaders of football, human rights organizations, and governments to develop and enact football safeguarding legislation that will give global consensus on safeguarding in the football industry.
- Football Abuse Victims will continue to be Voices of Transformation of Football Safeguarding
The football safeguarding emerged from the traumatic revelations of sexual abuse of victims within football clubs in the United Kingdom. The next ten years will see the emergence of more voices of victims of abuse in football from the Big Five Football Leagues in Europe and will continue to cause the transformation of football safeguarding.
- The demand for Football Safeguarding Skills will increase within the Football Industry
In the last ten formative years of the football safeguarding, a major evident gap in football structures was the lack of safeguarding skills. As football organizations take strategic steps in the next ten years to bridge the skills gaps, the demand for football safeguarding skills will increase in international, continental, regional and national football organizations.
- The Big Five Football Leagues will be the strategic catalysts of growth of Football Safeguarding
The Big 5 Football Leagues are the most influential leagues in the football industry. In the last decade, the EPL was the epicentre of football safeguarding. The next decade will see a more active and proactive commitment of La Liga, Serie A, Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga to football safeguarding which will build a football safeguarding culture.
- FIFA’s Global Football Safeguarding structures and strategic thrust will engrave the Football Safeguarding Culture in the DNA of Football Organizations
In 2019, FIFA crafted the Guardians Football Safeguarding Toolkit in 2019 to address football safeguarding challenges. In the next ten years, FIFA will prioritize the football safeguarding agenda through establishing independent football safeguarding structures and review panels within its affiliates to strategically and systematically address safeguarding issues at all levels.
- Football Safeguarding Data will drive the growth of the Football Safeguarding Programs and Practices
The scarcity of football safeguarding data has been dominant in developing and emerging regions where abuse in football is rife and underreported. The next ten years will be characterized by increased football safeguarding data collection and mining to inform planning and programming.
- Football Superstars will become Football Safeguarding Champions in the Football Industry
The last decade depicted football stars as victims of the different forms of abuse in football especially sexual and racial abuses which dominated headlines. The next ten years will see football superstars becoming champions of football safeguarding on and off the field as they leverage their social and global influence to increase awareness of football safeguarding.
- Digital Football Safeguarding will shift the Football Safeguarding Ecosystem
Digital transformation in the last ten years has triggered new football safeguarding threats such as cyber bullying, sexting, sextortion and doxing. The next ten years will be dominated by football organizations utilizing digital platforms and technologies to discuss and deepen understanding of football safeguarding.
- Football Safeguarding will permeate every aspect of football organizations
In the last ten years, football organizations embraced safeguarding as an important pillar of effective football management. In the next ten years, the football safeguarding culture will permeate every aspect of football from grassroots to professional level.
- Football Safeguarding Systems sustainability will be Football stakeholders driven
The football safeguarding landscape is an ecosystem of interdependent relationships. In the last ten years, the football safeguarding ecosystem was disjointed with organizations operating autonomously. The next ten years will be characterized by football stakeholders synergizing their strengths to build safe football environments
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