The Safeguarding team at SAFF is aimed to work together with our Member Associations to ensure that we keep football a safe space for everyone. SAFF’s safeguarding work has been closely linked to AFC’s safeguarding priorities & guidance. We are driven by the FIFA Guardians’ safeguarding toolkit and also developed our own safeguarding guidelines for assisting national federations with their national safeguarding policy.
The team of safeguarding officers across the region is led by the SAFF Safeguarding officer, Ms. Fahmida Faiza. The list of current safeguarding officers are:
- Mr. Saeed Hasan - Safeguarding officer, Bangladesh Football Federation
- Ms. Cheki Wangmo - Safeguarding officer, Bhutan Football Federation
- Mr. Rathin Saha - Safeguarding officer, All India Football Federation
- Mr. Manoj Ranjit - Safeguarding officer, All Nepal Football Association
- Mr. Hithaishi Jayawardana - Safeguarding officer, Football Federation of Sri Lanka
- Ms. Aminath Siyana - Safeguarding officer, Football Association of Maldives
First SAFF Regional Safeguarding Seminar, 2021
Safeguarding 360: From Policy to Practice
List of Participants:
* Fahmida Faiza - SO, SAFF
* Saeed Hasan - SO, Bangladesh Football Federation
* Cheki Wangmo - SO, Bhutan Football Federation (Online)
* Kumudavalli Seetharaman - All India Football Federation
* Rathin Saha - SO, All India Football Federation (Online)
* Deepak John Nayak - All India Football Federation (Online)
* Manoj Ranjit - SO, All Nepal Football Association
* Hitaishi Jayawardana- SO, Football Sri Lanka
* Aminath Siyana - SO, Football Association of Maldives
* Mariyam Anjum Afzal - Football Association of Maldives
* Syed Asif Hussain - Manager: Competitions, SAFF
* Subha Rahman - Executive: Competitions and Planning, SAFF
* Jasmine Ching - Safeguarding Specialist, AFC (Online)
* Neil Sta Maria, Senior Manager, SR Department AFC (Online)
* Dinish De Silva, Manager of South Asia Unit, Development Department, MA and RA Governance Department, AFC (Online)
* Mr Purushottam Kettel, Head of South Asia Unit, MA and RA Governance Department, AFC (Online)
Facilitator/ Panel Speakers:
* Gloria Viseras, FIFA Senior Event Safeguarding (Online)
* Marie-Laure Lemineur, FIFA’s Safeguarding Training and Capacity Building Manager (Online)
* Vahid Kardany, Deputy General Secretary, AFC (Online)
* Bassam Adeel Jaleel, President, FAM (Online)
* Anwarul Huq, General Secretary, SAFF (Online)
* Hussain Jawaz, General Secretary, FAM
* Vijaya Baskar, Senior Child Safeguarding Adviser, Keeping Children Safe * Sarah Blakemore, Chief Executive, Keeping Children Safe, UK (Online) * Anna Sherburn, Deputy Head of CVE Unit at The Commonwealth
* Assan Ali, Programme Manager, CVE Unit, The Commonwealth
* Dr Lin C Sambili Gicheha, Project Manager, Sport for Development and Peace (SDP), The Commonwealth Secretariat (Online)
* Claudia Villa, Head of Safeguarding, Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF) (Online)
* Nic Scott, Director of Safeguarding, City Football Group (Online)
* Murthala Moosa, Managing Director, ARC Foundation Maldives
* Paul Smalley, Technical Director, Bangladesh Football Federation
* Amir Alagic, Technical Director, Football Sri Lanka (Online)
* Ahmed Shareef, Technical Director, Football Association of Maldives
Joint Press Release:
The South Asian Football Federation (SAFF), in collaboration with The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) and hosted by the Football Association of Maldives (FAM) has conducted the First SAFF Regional Safeguarding Seminar in the Maldives on 8th and 9th October 2021. Safeguarding officers from all the Member Associations joined this seminar and spent two days of fruitful engaging discussions on how to create a safe environment and keep the youth players safe in football. This is for the first time the region has come together to share a combined vision and strategy for safeguarding actions. Such initiative has been appreciated by the AFC Deputy General Secretary Mr. Vahid Kardany as he quotes SAFF as a “Model Regional Association for safeguarding actions”.
Throughout the two days, participants enthusiastically joined to discuss and share their ideas, visions, and challenges that they face in their own country’s context to initiate safeguarding measures. The seminar titled “Safeguarding 360” had an all-encompassing approach starting from local case studies to global best practices, engaging the public and private stakeholders and global participation through a series of experts panel highlighting all the areas of safeguarding in football.
From FIFA Safeguarding, Gloria Viseras, FIFA Senior Event Safeguarding, and Marie Laure Lemineur, FIFA’s Safeguarding Training and Capacity Building Manager highly appreciated this regional endeavor as this creates regional momentum which will be carried forward at the upcoming Under 17 FIFA Women's World Cup by adopting Competitions Safeguarding.
The Asian Football Confederation (AFC) has supported this seminar and as partners, Keeping Children Safe global, the Commonwealth Secretariat extended their meaningful participation. The City Football Group has also shed a light on a global approach to local safeguarding in professional football organizations. ARC Foundation Maldives has also shared their work experience with FAM to develop the policy. Led by safeguarding specialist Mr Vijaya Baskar from Keeping Children Safe, the two-day hybrid seminar ensured a combination of expert presentations and panel discussions, with industry professionals and safeguarding experts.
The seminar aimed to foster greater interest in safeguarding, familiarise the participants from SAFF Member Associations on the current progress of safeguarding work, and provide a forum to exchange views on developing a regional safeguarding strategy. The seminar ended with a continued commitment by the safeguarding officers for undertaking safeguarding as a matter of priority of the SAFF MAs.
Key Points for SAFF Regional Strategy:
The participants have unanimously agreed upon the key priorities for tailoring the regional framework of safeguarding actions for the next 4 years as “SAFF Regional Safeguarding Strategy”. These are:
- Education, awareness, engagement
- Training & capacity building of MAs
- Partnership & collaboration
- Technical assistance for policy development & implementation for national, grassroots, and competitions safeguarding protocols
- A regionally cohesive safeguarding mechanism for South Asian football
- National Safeguarding policy and practices implemented by all SAFF MAs
- Competitions Safeguarding protocols in all the youth competitions
- Capacity building and mass awareness across all the MAs
- Implement grassroots level safeguarding mechanism
- The first draft of the National Safeguarding Policy completed by all of our Member Associations
- Football Association of Maldives’s launching and adaptation of National Safeguarding Policy
- Establishment of first-ever Regional Safeguarding Steering Committee of South Asia
- Comprehending SAFF’s own resources and guidelines on safeguarding
After months of integrated work with all our member associations, SAFF is pleased to formalize the structure of the regional safeguarding actions. SAFF is the first Regional Association under AFC to ensure all of our member associations have completed their first draft national safeguarding policy which is a momentum we would like to carry forward with the steering committee. The launch of the Regional Safeguarding Steering Committee sets a benchmark to further the actions and engagements with the involvement of a range of private and public stakeholders. On the occasion of Safer Sports Day 2021, we have introduced this first-of-its-kind regional mechanism.
The Football Association of Maldives is the inaugural chair of the steering committee. The Board of Directors invites a range of safeguarding professionals and experts across different countries to join hands in advancing the safeguarding actions for South Asia.