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Two significant campaigns launched by FIFPRO Sudamérica

Education and Development News
09 March 2022
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  • FIFPRO Sudamérica and the OEI launch two new initiatives in the region
  • “Volver a Estudiar” and a new sports director diploma create new opportunities for players
  • Collaboration another example of the positive work being done in South America

FIFPRO Sudamérica and the OEI (Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura) officially launched two initiatives at an event in Buenos Aires yesterday (Tuesday March 8th, 2022).

The event in Argentina’s capital was attended by several former players, as well as representatives from AFA (Asociación del Fútbol Argentino).  Also present were Jaime Perczyk (Minister of Education of Argentina), Pablo Burtovoy (Director of Education FIFPRO ) and Mariana Gaitan (a player from UAI Urquiza).

The initiatives, aimed at professional footballers, are designed to encourage players into further education. “Volver a Estudiar”, which translates to “Return to Study”, is a campaign in which players from various national teams will promote and highlight the importance of studying to players and young people in general. Players involved in this campaign include Nicolas Tagliafico (AFC Ajax and Argentina), Gary Medel (Bologna and Chile), Isadora Damasceno Freitas (Rayo Vallecano and Brazil), Fernando Aristeguieta (Puebla and Venezuela) and Ludmila da Silva (Atletico de Madrid and Brazil).

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From left to right: Gamadiel Garcia (FIFPRO Sudamerica general secretary), David Aganzo (FIFPRO President), Sergio Marchi, Mariel Romera and Luis Scossa (both OEI), Pablo Burtovoy (Education Director FIFPRO Sudamerica) and Gustavo Flores (director Independiente)

The collaboration with the OEI is a further example of FIFPRO Sudamérica’s commitment to representing players of various levels and backgrounds, and reaffirms one of the many positive alliances that the organisation has within he region. This viewpoint was expressed by FIFPRO President David Aganzo, who was in Buenos Aires for the event.

“These initiatives carried out by FIFPRO not only reaffirm the social commitment of the players in the region, but also demonstrate once again the collective's impact on central issues such as education” he said.  

“Hopefully this is the first regional step to expand similar ideas globally”.

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Attendees of the law event in Buenos Aires, including: Romina Calcagno, Florencia Confalonieri,Stella Juncos (FIFPRO Sudamerica Executive Committee and FIFA DRC member), Maite Nadal, Natalia Simeone, Florencia Chirico (MUFP lawyer and FIFPRO Sudamerica Executive Committee member), Carolina Cristinziano, and Alexandra Gomez Bruinewoud (FIFPRO Senior Legal Counsel)

Mariel Romera, Cooperation and Innovation Coordinator of OEI Argentina, believes that this partnership, especially in the two years following the outbreak of COVID-19, is fundamental for getting players back into education. In Argentina alone, 15% of students pre-pandemic did not complete high school, and in the environment of COVID this number will have invariably increased.

Speaking to FIFPRO, Romera said: “We’ve seen many young people in the region abandon their studies, especially in the context of the pandemic. We’ve launched “Volver a Estudiar” with two targets in mind - younger players who are risk of dropping their studies, and players who already have.

“The collaboration with FIFPRO Suramérica is key - it gives us the team spirit, and reminds of the collective.  In a world where individualism is a big thing, it is incredibly important to remember how much we need to think as a team”.

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UAI Urquiza captain Mariana Gaitan is part of the "Volver a Estudiar" program. To her right is Luis Scasso and to her left stands Sergio Marchi.

Luis Scasso, Director of OEI Argentina, added: “With the pandemic, UNESCO estimates that in LATAM 1800 billion hours were missed at school. But education is not a possibility, it is a right. We want this campaign to collaborate with many others that push for our youth to finish their studies”.

Sergio Marchi, Futbolistas Argentinos Agremiados President and FIFPRO Sudamérica President, expressed his support for “Volver a Estudiar”.

He said: “I want to praise the players that have helped with this campaign. These players compete constantly and they are eventually rivals in different competitions, but in this occasion they have come together to leave a very important message. A message for society: they are together, collaborating in order to create a better place for everyone. Without education, there’s no future”.

Accompanying “Volver a Estudiar” is the creation of a Diploma in Sports Management (“diplomatura”), which will be free for all football players in the region. 

The diploma is the first time that players in the region will be able to study with the support from UNTREF (Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero).

“This is very important”, explained Marchi, “because it is key to looking forward. Sports directors will become an essential component of every club very soon, and for the first time we will be giving players the opportunity to get a better education, and a greater chance to succeed”.