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Official partnership signed to help develop next generation of football leaders

Tuesday 24 Jan 2017
FA youth leader Megan Smith engages with prospective new leaders at a youth leadership camp in Berlin

The United Nations and The Football Association have cemented their commitment to help develop the next generation of football leaders after signing an official partnership. 

The FA has worked closely with the UN since 2014, sending a delegation to training camps across South Korea, Germany, Japan and the USA to share expertise in youth leadership development. 

Jane Bateman, FA head of International Relations said: “We are proud to sign this partnership with the United Nations following an excellent relationship that we have established over the past few years. 

“By formalising this work together we can continue to create unique development opportunities for our young leaders whilst opening up new dialogues and knowledge exchange as part of our commitment to innovation and developing opportunities for all.”

Jane Bateman and Wilfried Lemke sign letter of intent

In March 2017 Karl Lines, The FA’s national manager for youth leadership, will travel to Japan to share knowledge as part of an expert exchange with the UN, Japanese Sports Council and project alumni.

Through the UN’s Office on Sport for Development and Peace, the partnership enables The FA to access highly-coveted international development opportunities as part of the UN Youth Leadership Programme whilst drawing on expert knowledge networks from across the globe.

Held at different international locations several times a year, the UN’s Youth Leadership Programme brings together promising youth leaders aged between 18-25 years worldwide, to receive training from leading organisations in best practices for sport for development and peace.

Young people from across different continents attend an intensive training camp, share ideas, and then return home with an action plan to improve the outreach of their projects, becoming role models within their communities and inspiring change using the power of sport.

Wilfried Lemke, UN secretary-general on Sport for Development and Peace said: “We are delighted to join forces with the Football Association.

“Their strengths align with our Youth Leadership Programme in the development of young people, where sport is used to empower, educate and promote development and peace.

“The FA has worked with us for three years now, and we are delighted to formally sign a contract that meets our joint objectives.”

For more information about youth leadership opportunities please contact your local County Football Association or email

By FA Staff